Bensberg Critical Of City Decision To Bolt Emergency Services Agency

Jim Bensberg, a candidate for Colorado Springs City Council District 3, said today that he laments the City of Colorado Springs' decision to abandon the countywide Emergency Services Agency and issue its own request for proposal to provide ambulance transport.

The ESA, which was formed in 1998 with 26 participating entities, cities and El Paso County, is a cooperative agency designed to provide economies of scale to reduce ambulance transport rates for citizens within the City and throughout the county.

"I am concerned that the other participants in the ESA will suffer higher costs to license ambulance service and the result will be higher costs for emergency patients when they are transported to the hospital," said Bensberg. "At a time when citizens are calling for regional cooperation between the City and El Paso County, this unilateral decision by Colorado Springs' administration sends the wrong message."

While the City offered in a written statement to allow other communities to join in its RFP process, it was made clear that the City and its fire department would be in control of the process, and ambulance service may be brought in-house instead of from AMR ambulance company.