Denver, CO

Tuesday in Denver: FEMA expected to refuse $32M in reimbursements, Firefighters concerned with paramedic delays and more

Steven Bonifazi

By Steven Bonifazi / NewsBreak Denver

(DENVER, Colo.) Greetings, good afternoon, and a happy Tuesday to you and yours, Denver Rounderuppers!

Welcome back once again to another Tuesday edition of the Denver Daily Round-Up, a daily synopsis of the Mile High City's top stories. An arctic cold front has reached the Mile High City and temperatures are already near record-breaking.

As always, a lot has happened in and around the Denver metro in the past 24 hours, so before finishing this Tuesday, take a closer look at some of Denver's most newsworthy events this Tuesday:

1. Denver shouldn’t be surprised that millions spent on COVID-19 homeless shelters won’t be reimbursed, FEMA says

The city of Denver might lose $32 million spent on homeless shelters in 2021 due to a dispute between city officials and administrators with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is expected to refuse reimbursement of the money.

The Denver Post reports that FEMA authorized roughly $84 million in payments that support city shelter programs between March 2020 and June 2021. However, agency officials claim that city and state leaders' choice to end public health orders such as those that reduce the number of people in homeless shelters, ruled out some services from getting a reimbursement.

Zack Lamb, FEMA's response division director for Region 8, which includes Colorado, said that FEMA has had meetings with Colorado and Denver on what could take place if the city or state government repealed certain health orders. 

But city officials disagree and feel that FEMA should support shelters facilities under the federal law, the Stafford Act, which gives the structure outline for federal disaster response.

2. Colorado clocks first day with no COVID deaths since last summer

The Centennial State recorded its first day without a COVID-related death since July 2021 despite COVID deaths still falling behind measurements including cases and hospitalizations.

State data said no COVID-positive person died on Feb. 15, FOX31 reported. This makes the average COVID deaths per day 6.6, similar to what Colorado saw in August 2021.

Nevertheless, the state's COVID deaths have declined more rapidly than the rest of the nation, as the country currently is experiencing an average of 1,920 COVID-related deaths per day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3. Firefighters sound the alarm on understaffing, delays from Denver Health paramedics in responding to calls

A multitude of Denver firefighters are voicing frustration surrounding the lack of staff and delays from Denver Health paramedics responding to emergency calls.

Denver7 reported that their investigative teams found multiple emails from the Denver Fire Department asking questions regarding the response times of Denver Health paramedics, with some emails claiming firefighters waited over 30 minutes on the scene before an ambulance arrived. One email told of a firefighter complaining about response time in May concerning a traffic accident where a patient was unconscious and said the firefighter was told that Denver Health had no ambulances available.

Denver Fire Chief Desmond Fulton said that he understands the irritation his firefighters are experiencing considering that he has been out on calls and observed problems with response times.

4. Denver spends $750,000 to help immigrants fight deportation

The Mile High City is set to spend $750,000 on legal services for immigrants as long as no city council members call out the expense during Wednesday's Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee consent agenda.

The $750,000 makes the total funds of support for the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund to $1.45 million. The fund was created by Mayor Micheal Hancock in August 2017 to provide immigration legal services to Denver residents facing deportation and additional legal issues, NewsBreak Denver's David Heitz reported.

To receive services, residents need to be indigent or at 20 percent of the federal poverty level, meaning they must make less than $27,180 annually for a single person. The Denver Foundation estimates that 50,000 undocumented immigrants live in the Mile High City.

Local Housing Listings

  • 855 N Pennsylvania St., #409, Denver, 80203: $280,000, no monthly estimate listed. Condominium. 1 bed, 1 bath, 531 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 7476 E Arkansas Ave, Apt 3902, Denver, 80231: $430,000, $2,268 estimated monthly. Condominium. 3 beds, 3.5 baths, 2,106 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 3775 S Golden Ct., Denver, 80235: $640,000, $2,883 estimated monthly. Single-family. 4 beds, 3 baths, 2,672 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 3354 N Columbine St., Denver, 80205: $700,000, $3,000 estimated monthly. Single-family. 4 beds, 2 baths, 2,244 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 2615 Monaco Pkwy., Denver, 80207: $899,000, no monthly estimate listed. Single-family. 3 beds, 2 baths, 2,130 sq. feet. Find more information here.

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