MRH Board of Trustees adopts resolution regarding EMS services in Moffat County

No matter what happens in November regarding voters approving or denying an Emergency Medical Services district in Moffat County, the Memorial Regional Health Board of Trustees knows it cannot sustain the current EMS setup long-term.

In its monthly BOT meeting March 25, the board adopted Resolution 2021-1, approving the transition of Emergency Medical Services in Moffat County.

“What the board is trying to say in the resolution is that we’re going to do the best we can for as long as we can,” MRH CEO Andy Daniels said. “But looking down the road, we know that it isn’t sustainable for MRH to fund it indefinitely.”

In 2020 alone, Memorial Regional Health’s EMS division lost more than $675,000.

EMS first started in Craig in 1920 through Craig Fire/Rescue, which was under city management. After being unable to sustain the service financially, management was transferred to the Moffat County commissioners in 1952, where EMS lived until 1990 when it was transferred to Memorial Regional Health.

Knowing how much the service line loses each year, the Board of Trustees knows the current model is not sustainable, and threw its support behind the creation of an independent governing board and special EMS district with the dedicated financial resources to operate an on-going and coordinate service in Moffat County.

Now, the service line is facing a significant change with MRH out of financial options.

According to previous Craig Press reporting, Memorial Regional Health Chief Financial Officer and EMS Task Force board member Sam Radke said the district has worked between a 2.5 and 3.3 mill levy throughout the process, but is currently targeting an ask of a 2.7 mill levy from Moffat County voters to provide funding for the proposed Moffat County Health Services EMS District, which should help eliminate unstable, fragmented care through an essential service to all 4,754 square-miles of the county.

Should voters approve the mill levy for an EMS district in November, the Board of Trustees agreed to transfer 100% of its EMS assets to the new district without cost. Those assets would include five ambulances, significant capital, and minor equipment, according to the resolution, which is estimated at $965,594 based on March 2021 financial reporting.

In the resolution that was approved March 25, board members stated that they would provide notice to the community that it will cease providing EMS funding on a future date not yet determined, providing completion of the appropriate legal notice to the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners and other government stakeholders.

“The board didn’t want to set a time frame yet,” Daniels said. “It could be a year, two years, three years…it’s hard to tell right now. But, the board totally supports the EMS district concept with an independent board running EMS in this county. They will try and support it as long as they can.”

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