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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Support 5A to maintain emergency services

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Dear Editor:

Support Ballot Issue 5A -- the life you save may be yours! Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. On average, every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke, and every four minutes, someone dies of a stroke. When a person suffers a heart attack or a stroke, Advance Life Support Services are needed as soon as possible to minimize the effects and to help save the lives of these patients. The Delta County Ambulance District has been providing these much-needed life saving services seven days per week, 24 hours a day for the residents of the district since 1999.

From 1999 to 2016 there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of calls for service. But the district has not increased its taxes to the residents and operational expenses have continued to climb. Yet while the number of calls has increased, the revenues generated from operations have decreased. During the last four years, the district has used reserve funds to balance the yearly budgets, but those reserve funds have been depleted. At the same time, the board of the district has worked hard to reduce operating costs. General overhead expenses have been reduced 25 percent, operational expenses have been reduced to 34 percent below 2016 levels. There have been no cost of living increases for the staff in the last four years. So to continue the around-the-clock Advanced Life Support services that are so important, the district needs more money to operate.

If this ballot issue fails, the district may have to cut services and reduce staffing. That means possibly longer response times in critical emergencies. Please vote YES on Delta County Ambulance District Ballot Issue 5A so that we may have the best possible emergency medical response in our area.

Bruce Joss

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