A new contract between the Colorado Springs Fire Department and AMR is expected to improve response times for medical emergencies.
The fire department signed the five-year contract with American Medical Response Tuesday. The changes are scheduled to go into affect April 1, 2014.
The city says response times will be significantly faster for areas such as Briargate, Stetson Hills, Broadmoor Bluffs, Rockrimmon, Mountain Shadows and parts of Peregrine. Those neighborhoods currently have a target response time of 12 minutes. Under the new arrangement with AMR, that is expected to decrease to eight minutes.
The city said in a news release that the current ambulance provider will also continue to offer services in the Colorado Springs area.
The city also said it expects to be reimbursed $1,177,000 annually for services that were previously provided by the fire department without reimbursement.
Charges for ambulance service are expected to increase by 5 percent starting April 1 to adjust for inflation. The city said they will not increase more than that.
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