As part of National Emergency Medical Services Week, St. Mary's hospital holds a luncheon for EMS providers Thursday.
More than 400 paid and volunteer people serve as emergency medical service providers in western Colorado and eastern Utah.
Attendees at today's luncheon include members of American Medical Response, the Mesa County Search and Rescue team, and the Grand Junction Fire Department.
Today is also the 30th anniversary of St. Mary's CareFlight, which started with a single airplane. Three years later a helicopter was added to the fleet. The Chief Flight Nurse for St. Mary's CareFlight says the fast response of aircraft combined with the increasing knowledge of on-the-ground emergency medical providers is saving the lives of thousands of people every year.
Each year CareFlight calls increase by five per cent. In the last week at least two flights have been used to bring people injured in wilderness accidents to the hospital for treatment.