GRAND JUNCTION, CO – The Grand Junction Fire Department’s ability to be the exclusive provider of ambulance service for much of Mesa County in Colorado is a success, according to local physicians, medical professionals, and emergency managers. Six months into its new venture, the Fire Department has exceeded standards for ambulance response times and met projections for expenditures and revenues, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

Data provided by the county, which licenses the Fire Department and the 10 other fire districts for ambulance service, show the Fire Department’s compliance with response-time standards has held steady after it became the sole ambulance provider in Grand Junction, even as its volume of calls increased more than 50 percent. That success followed a controversial move, in which the Fire Department last Jul. 1 took over duties as the sole ambulance provider in the city limits, the Grand Junction Rural Fire Protection District and Glade Park.

In order to meet the standards, the Fire Department must respond 90 percent of the time within eight minutes on urban calls, within 20 minutes on rural calls, and within one hour on frontier calls. For nonemergency calls, the department responded within eight minutes an average of 98.3 percent of the time between September and June. Between July and November, that percentage held steady at 98 percent.

The change was part of an overhaul of the county EMS system.