Avon may get ambulance station | VailDaily.com

Avon may get ambulance station

Nicole Frey
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyWillowe Maynard, 9, of Steamboat Springs plays with her newly built and colored fire truck during First Reponders Day at The Home Depot in Avon. The Eagle River Fire Protection District and the Eagle County Health Service District hosted the event to encourage public safety and raise awareness about emergency services.

AVON – It’s 14 miles between the ambulance stations in Edwards and Vail. From either station, it takes about 10 minutes to get to a suffering person in Avon, even longer if they’re in Minturn. Add the valley’s habitual snow and ice and it’ll take a little longer.”And that’s if they’re even available to go there, and not tied up with other calls,” said Lyn Morgan, general manager of the Eagle County Health Service District (formerly the Eagle County Ambulance District.) Morgan has been fighting to get another ambulance station in Avon for about eight years. All the pieces of the puzzle to create another station are in place – lacking only the approval of the Avon Town Council.

With plans to build 2,400 homes and a total of 650,000 square feet of commercial space, Traer Creek, the creator of the Village at Avon development, is also in need of emergency facilities, said Dan Christopherson, spokesman for the developer. While required to provide land for a new fire station, Traer Creek has volunteered to give land to build a new ambulance station. It would be the only one in Avon. “This donation is not required, but it allows us to create an emergency services district, which makes sense,” Christopherson said. “It’s a gift to the community that we can make as long as we have the town council’s support.”Looking to the Avon Town Council to approve the donation, Traer Creek submitted a plan to the Avon planning department to amend the existing master plan. If approved, Traer Creek may get a tax deduction for the donated land. The amended plan would also designate a site for a fire station next to the ambulance station.

“I think the idea of providing emergency services closer to the population densities is a great idea, but it’s the question of if it’s in the appropriate place,” said Tambi Katieb, Avon’s community development director. Katieb’s staff just began a review of the proposal that puts the stations next to a community park area and across Interstate 70 from a proposed school. It will ultimately be up to the town council to approve or deny the land donation – a process that could last up to six months, Katieb said. If approved, the station would cut response times in Avon and Minturn in half, Morgan said, adding that more ambulances could service more people. “This would be of great strategic value to the valley,” he said. “It’s in the middle of one of the fastest-growing areas in the valley.”

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado

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