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Monroe County is located in Southeast Central Indiana. The county seat and and largest city is Bloomington - home to Indiana University. The county includes portions of the Hoosier National Forest to the east and several lakes and reservoirs created by abandoned limestone quarries. The largest is Lake Monroe, a large reservoir on the Salt Creek in the south-eastern part of the county. It is used both for recreational purposes and to supply the City of Bloomington with drinking water. In January 2001, the last of the county's remaining fire departments (except for the City of Bloomington and Ellettsville) merged into the Monroe Fire District. These three departments protect the county's 148,431 residents (2019) and 411 square miles. County-wide EMS transport service is provided by IU EMS.


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