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  • Writer's pictureDVFR

DVFSSD Board statement regarding EMS services on SR18

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

As part of the ongoing discussions between representatives of Washington County and the Dammeron Valley Fire, Diamond Valley Fire, and Northwestern Special Service Districts, Gold Cross Ambulance has announced their intention to provide free (meaning at no cost to each SSD) or very low-cost EMS and patient transport services to those areas not currently serviced by Enterprise Fire/EMS and Santa Clara-Ivins Fire/EMS. Negotiations between Washington County and Gold Cross are in the discovery phase but are expected to produce a detailed proposal from Gold Cross by the end of January 2022.

If Gold Cross can guarantee the following, the Dammeron Valley Fire SSD Board will support Washington County’s efforts and the resulting contract:

  1. The same or a better level of care, including response times and consistency of response, with the addition of patient transport

  2. A multi-year contract that assures residents of quality and timely care for a significantly lower cost to the SSD

During the ongoing discussions with the County and neighboring SSDs regarding EMS, which Dammeron Valley Fire SSD and its predecessor the DVLA have provided to neighboring communities at no cost since the mid 1990’s, it has become clear that each SSD’s annual fee/tax rate is the top priority to many of our neighbors; not the quality and level of service for which they are paying. Therefore, the DVFSSD Board will also consider the following options based upon the outcome of the County’s negotiations with Gold Cross, should the proposal from Gold Cross not be acceptable:

  1. Continue to offer EMS services within the existing licensed area (Baker Dam Road to Snow Canyon to Gunlock) pending establishment of the new Western Fire District, which is expected to level the fees/taxes for all residents within the new district’s boundaries. We believe that this option should expire on December 31, 2022.

  2. Apply to the State of Utah to reduce DVFR’s medical license to include only Dammeron Valley. This will leave the southern SR18 corridor without the timely and reliable EMS response currently being provided by DVFR except within the community of Dammeron Valley, including accidents on SR18.

  3. Negotiate a fee system with the Diamond Valley Fire and Northwestern Districts to offset the costs of EMS service to their communities.

Dammeron Valley Fire & Rescue worked steadily towards increasing its level of medical licensure and implementation of patient transport throughout 2021. The department anticipates receiving Advance Life Support licensure by the end of January 2022, which will allow our first responders to treat patients at a higher level of care, including IV’s and medications. In anticipation of the formation of the new Western Fire District, DVFR plans to move forward with an application to become a patient transport agency.

It is the Board’s observation that DVFR is providing timely, reliable, and professional levels of care within its boundaries and the addition of patient transport would save patient lives and/or improve outcomes. It is also the opinion of this Board that, at the fire department level, cooperation between area fire chiefs and personnel is high. The cross training and certified training courses conducted at DVFR in 2021 have had a very positive effect on local multi-agency fire response.

What becomes of fire and EMS services along SR18 in the next 6-12 months is in the hands of our neighboring SSDs and the County of Washington. Dammeron Valley Fire & Rescue has and is providing a way forward, having responded to 243 calls in 2021 without missing a single call. This Board is in full support of consolidating fire and EMS services along SR18 with the goal of achieving high levels of service for all residents, while optimizing the utilization of assets and leveling the fee or tax base. This would include community-based patient transport provided by a qualified agency.

However, this Board is not willing to jeopardize the gains made by DVFR in 2021, nor the level of service currently provided by DVFR, as part of the ongoing process to establish the new Western Fire District. The SSD’s primary purpose is to serve the residents of Dammeron Valley and assure them, to the best of its ability, timely, consistent, and competent fire response. The actions and decisions of our neighbors and Washington County will ultimately decide our collective future in this regard.

Dammeron Valley Fire Special Service District Control Board

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