April 2018 Newsletter
Training Exercise- 4/25 at Paonia HS
New Training Center & Open House
** Important News **
Many Hands
Spring is near and we are excited to announce some news and events happening with the North Fork Ambulance! As crew members, Friends of North Fork Ambulance volunteers, Members and other supporters, we want to ensure that you are the first to hear about updates with the Association. Please take a moment to read this newsletter in its entirety as it includes some important news items. Thank you for your continued support and dedication. You have helped keep North Fork Ambulance strong!
Training Exercise: April 25th at Paonia HS

The 2018 Mock DUI Crash will be held this Wednesday, April 25th at Paonia High School starting at 9am.

Please note this is a training exercise! Help us spread the word that there is no emergency at Paonia High School.

If you are driving on Highway 133 that morning, please drive safely past the event. Thank you!

New Training Center & Open House
Fortunately, and to the credit of many years of conservative stewardship, the NFAA has some financial reserves to serve as a bridge to public funding and to further improve services to the community. A terrific opportunity to expand our training capabilities presented itself recently in Hotchkiss and was quickly acted upon. The North Fork Ambulance Board voted unanimously to purchase the property at 110 East Hotchkiss Avenue to serve as a training center and offices for the Association. “This property will serve the needs of the valley for many years to come,” states Dan Miller, President of North Fork Ambulance. “It is essential to provide a facility for training so our EMTs can serve the people with professionalism and quality care.”

A training facility in Hotchkiss will make it easier for interested residents to acquire the necessary training as part of the Ambulance crew. The training facility can also be used to hold public classes on injury prevention, CPR training and other topics useful to the health and wellbeing of our community. Local businesses may opt to offer safety awareness classes for their employees to improve their occupational safety and reduce their insurance premiums.

We will be hosting an Open House at the new training center (110 East Hotchkiss Avenue) on Saturday, May 12th from 10am-2pm. Lunch will be provided in partnership with Bank of Colorado from 11am-1pm. Please join us!
Making Certain Emergency Medical Services Will Be In The North Fork Valley When You Need Them
The North Fork Ambulance Board is considering changes to ensure emergency medical services remain sustainable into the future. North Fork Ambulance was established in 1969 for the purpose of providing emergency medical care and transport for the people of the North Fork valley and beyond. Beginning as an “all-volunteer” organization, it has operated for 49 years, growing and increasing its level of service and professionalism as the community has grown. The North Fork Ambulance response area covers approximately 1,550 square miles in and around the North Fork valley, reaching into Gunnison and Montrose Counties. Ambulance stations and on-call crews are located in Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford to provide the fastest possible response time in the event of a medical emergency. 

In 2015, a series of community meetings were held as part of our efforts to be responsive to community needs. At these meetings, the community identified three important goals for the service: 

(1) Maintain the fastest response time possible
(2) Raise the level of care
(3) Become financially sustainable

Through additional training and certification of several crew members, NFAA has increased its level of care to Advanced Life Support. Simultaneously, grant funds were secured to purchase three quick response vehicles that carry the most highly trained EMTs directly to the scene of the emergency to assist and provide advanced care as necessary. 

The third goal - financial sustainability - has been the most challenging. In 2016 and 2017, additional efforts were made to increase memberships and community sponsorship. We are all grateful for the 34% of residents and businesses who actively support North Fork Ambulance with voluntary memberships and donations; however, it is simply not enough to sustain the emergency service at its current level. In 1989, memberships paid for 71% of operating expenses. Today, due to rising personnel and equipment costs, along with decreasing revenues from insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, memberships only covers 20% of expenses. Through careful financial analysis and projections, the North Fork Ambulance Board has determined that the current financial structure must evolve for this vital service to continue.

The North Fork Ambulance Board has conducted extensive research, considered several options, and has determined that the establishment of a Special District with a small mill levy on property would be the most effective and fair way to ensure financial viability of this crucial emergency service.  As with any taxing issue, the formation of a Special District and a mill levy to fund it would be decided by the voters in the area served. With the support of the people in the North Fork valley, and the County Commissioners in all three counties, it is the intention of the North Fork Ambulance Board to go before the voters in the November 2018 election to seek approval for the formation of a Special District to ensure that quality, timely emergency medical services continue uninterrupted in the North Fork valley. 

The North Fork Ambulance has served its community with efficacy and passion since 1969. It has evolved with the community to become not just an ambulance service, but an essential part of the health and wellness of the North Fork valley. It is only fair that financial support for this critical service be spread among all residents of the service area to ensure its long-term existence. The North Fork Ambulance Board is convinced the establishment of the Special District is a responsible and sustainable path to providing quality emergency care to our large, rural service area and encourages public support this November.
Many Hands Make Light Work!

We are looking for some helping hands for a mailing to the North Fork Valley residents. The date and time has not been decided, but plan to put this mailing together the week of May 17-24.

If you're able to help fold letters and stamp/stuff envelopes, please contact Katie at network@northforkambulance.com or 201-3423. Thank you!
North Fork Ambulance | 970-872-4303 | network@northforkambulance.com | www.northforkambulance.com