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Grand County turns Kremmlings Pepsi Center into EMS headquarters

KATIE LOOBYklooby@grandcountynews.comGrand County, Colorado

Kremmling, Colorado’s, former Pepsi Center warehouse will be the new West Grand home of the Grand County Emergency Medical Services along with several other county offices.Officials hope to have the building functional by the end of the year.The county bought the Pepsi Center for $495,000 last spring, said Grand County EMS Chief Ray Jennings.We could not afford to build that same building for that price, he said. We have been looking at areas in Kremmling for the last three years now. Weve been looking for a location so we could put the crew and the ambulance together.He said this is a good location at 10th and Eagle, near the highway. The building will also house offices for the Road & Bridge, Coroner, Search and Rescue, and Sheriff.It just became a great opportunity to provide more and better service to the community, Jennings said. Its helping a lot of county departments at the same time. The building is 160 feet long and 70 feet wide. It was built in the 1990s, and Pepsis addition in 2002 added 70 feet of wing space to the building. The company also laid concrete, and installed a chain link fence around western part of the building. The warehouse includes mostly storage capacity, and will require plans for an interior remodel and office area. Grand County Building Official Scott Penson will give a presentation about bids on the project to the county commissioners today. The building will allow at least two EMS employees and two ambulances to stay at the building 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The facility also could expand later.Four offices will run on the southwest end of the building. The west end will house the ambulance and coroner vehicles. EMS will take up a quarter to a third of the space, enough room for four EMS staff members to stay year-round. This will give them a place to cook, shower, and be ready for that next call to help, Jennings added.The building will allow EMS staff to respond immediately and take the ambulance to the patient, he said.Theres been a big need for that facility for six years, he said, so we could improve service. Keeping the ambulance indoors will also expand its life. EMS used to be a partially volunteer/ paid department, and is now a fully-paid department. Its been kind of a difficult getting the EMS staff and ambulance at same place, he said. EMS staff used to take a transport vehicle to the EMS, which took and extra three to five minutes. If somebodys not breathing, five minutes makes a big difference, Jennings said. The faster we can get there, the faster they can reduce pain and suffering. Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or klooby@grandcountynews.com.


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