Following a split vote among Mesa County Commissioners, the Grand Junction Fire Department will officially become the area's non–emergency ambulance provider. The vote from commissioners was
2-1, with Craig Meis voting against it.
The proposal has come under fire in the last couple of months for several reasons -- it will cost the City of Grand Junction well over $600,000 to implement the fire department's plan and according to Fire Chief Richard Beaty, the original deadline of July 1 to have the equipment and manpower in place will not be met. Mesa County Commissioners voted on the resolution passed by Grand Junction City Council members two weeks ago, granting approval to the Grand Junction Fire Department's plan to become the area's sole ambulance provider. The resolution passed 2-1 Monday, essentially giving the fire department the green light. Commissioner Janet Rowland says it was important to set a plan in motion as quickly as possible.
Although some AMR employees will be hired by the Grand Junction Fire Department, the phase-out has forced 28 AMR employees to begin finding jobs elsewhere. AMR says they will remain in the area until July 1, however, it may become a problem if the fire department is not ready to go by that date. As AMR employees find other jobs, staffing and services will most likely be cut by a drastic margin.