Summit Fire & EMS to share $4.2 million space with Summit County Ambulance | SummitDaily.com

Summit Fire & EMS to share $4.2 million space with Summit County Ambulance

A rendering of what the new Summit Fire & EMS and Summit County Ambulance administrative offices will look like once complete. The two-story, 9,400-square-foot structure will house administrative functions for both agencies, as well as the permit and inspection services of Summit Fire.

Summit Fire & EMS, in collaboration with the Summit County Ambulance Service, will officially break ground on a new jointly operated administration building at the Summit County Commons in Frisco on Friday.

The two-story building, a considerable 9,400-square-foot structure, will house the administrative functions for both organizations, as well as the permit and inspection services of Summit Fire.

"We are very excited that this project is getting off the ground," said Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs. "We look forward to increased collaboration with Summit Fire & EMS, and to the efficiencies in the system that this shared space will provide."

Working together is nothing new for the organizations. Summit Fire and Summit County Ambulance have been cross-staffing ambulances for the past two years and currently share housing at Station 1 in Copper Mountain, Station 8 in Dillon and Station 11 in Keystone.

Anderson Hallas Architects out of Golden designed the $4.2 million building and Symmetry Builders out of Dacono will build it. The two agencies will split the bill, with Summit Fire & EMS paying for two thirds of the project (about $2.8 million) while Summit Ambulance pays the rest (about $1.4 million). The new building is expected to be completed in early 2019.

"I think it's a great way to move toward a more efficient delivery of medical services, and to reduce the duplication of services and infrastructure," said director of Summit County Ambulance James Woodworth. "Sharing an administration facility with Summit Fire makes great sense for both organizations."

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According to Summit Fire Chief Jeff Berino, Summit Fire & EMS will transfer their administrative operations from its Silverthorne station to Frisco and Summit Ambulance will move their ambulances from the County Communications Building to the Summit Fire station in Frisco once the new building is completed.

Berino lauded the new site for its proximity to both the county building department and the fire department's High Country Training Center, as well as easy access to county meeting rooms in the County Commons.

But there may be other advantages in the near future as well. Both Berino and Woodworth confirmed that the county is currently conducting an independent consultation into whether it would be more efficient for the two organizations to officially merge. While the results of the study haven't been publicly presented, the construction of a joint administration building certainly adds fuel to the rumored flames.

"I think that this will really help to better communications between fire and county ambulance," said Berino. "We'll be right down the hall. And if, and I stress if, there is ever a merger this will make that process more efficient. It's no secret that the county and our fire agency have discussed some merger operations, and that continues. If that gains some traction, being under one roof for administration would really help."

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday at noon at the building site.