Fire and ambulance crews join forces for savings and service |

Fire and ambulance crews join forces for savings and service

Lu Snyder

DILLON – A joint venture between Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and Summit County Ambulance just might save some taxpayer money.

Last autumn, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue completed the addition of a third floor to its fire station in Dillon. But the firefighters didn’t do it alone. Summit County Ambulance assisted with the funding of the construction, with the agreement they too would be able to house staff at the station.

“It made perfect sense to investigate doing something jointly with the fire department,” said Sean Caffrey, director of Summit County Ambulance.

The joint effort likely will save taxpayers money, as well as lower bills for ambulance service, he said.

Though construction of the addition was completed months ago, the two agencies are just now wrapping up the final details.

“We’re just putting all the final dots on the i’s and the crosses on the t’s,” Caffrey said, explaining they have a few legal details remaining before the agreement is final.

Upon completion of the agreement, the ambulance service will own 25 percent of the Dillon station and will share in the cost of its operation, including electricity and other bills, Caffrey said.

The potential financial savings is not the only advantage to the partnership, however.

“It keeps the paramedics working with the firefighters, and establishes good relationships,” said Frances Winston, chief of Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.

Since both agencies usually work separately, it’s not unusual to have a fire truck and an ambulance respond to an emergency call. However, with the agencies working together in Dillon, it might mean only one will respond to a call, if necessary – which saves not only money, but resources, Winston said. It will allow the other emergency vehicle and staff to be available to respond to additional calls, should they coincide.

“That has good value,” Winston said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or

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