In February, Grand Junction City Council members voted to make the Grand Junction Fire Department the sole ambulance service in the area, phasing out American Medical Response Ambulance Service, which has served the Grand Valley for 10 years.
In order to take over for the Grand Junction Fire Department to implement its plan to become the sole ambulance provider, they need not only more ambulances, but employees and both will be costly.
During Wednesday's City Council meeting, the first meeting with newly elected Mayor Jim Doody at the helm, Interim Fire Chief Jim Bright asked council members to approve the application for a Federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response or SAFER grant.
The fire department needs to hire 18 new employees to implement the ambulance service plan and with the labor costs, which round out to roughly $5.9M in the initial four-and-a-half years of employment.
The grant, which would reimburse up to $100-thousand per position, for a total of nearly $2M over the initial four years, is very important.
Whether the department is awarded the federal grant or not, the plan to become the sole emergency service provider will be implemented no matter what.