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The Colorado Springs City Council voted Tuesday against establishing a new municipal ambulance service after months of public debate.

The council voted 5-4 against creating an ambulance service that would have been funded by fees rather than city taxes. The contract with American Medical Response will remain in place after the vote.

Councilwoman Lynette Crow-Iverson was among the council members who opposed the project, citing an audit report released Thursday that showed the Colorado Springs Fire Department overestimates its revenue from commercial insurance. The audit report found that comparable cities, on average, get 14% of their revenue from commercial insurance, while the fire department estimated that 23% of that revenue could come from commercial insurance.


The Colorado Springs Fire Department wants to end its contract with American Medical Response and operate the ambulances itself, as most suburbs in the Denver metro area do. The City Council begins weighing Monday whether to follow the Colorado Springs Fire Department’s plan or extend the contract with American Medical Response.

“They overestimate what they will earn,” she said.

She also noted that the city does not have the necessary start-up capital for the service, a point that Fire Chief Randy Royal disputed, saying they have obligations.

Council member David Leinweber was in the minority and said he was willing to support the fire department’s proposal and end the city’s contract with AMR.

“People’s lives matter and responding in their critical moments should and should always be our top priority,” Leinweber said.

Royal summarized his arguments for bringing ambulance services in-house during the meeting, saying it would be self-sustaining, cost patients less and allow the department to continue adding innovative basic and mental health emergency services.

AMR is unable to respond to emergencies within the time specified in its contract, and the private company pays fines to the city when it fails to meet these response time requirements.

The city had expected to launch its new EMS service on April 1, 2025. Now the city could seek bids from other companies for its service.

“I am incredibly disappointed to say that the Colorado Springs City Council voted against the ambulance company proposal,” Royal said in a social media post. “This proposal would have been a historic step for our community and the best possible outcome for our community.”

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