EMS calls stand out on GJFD annual report
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -
Here in the Grand Valley, 2019 may not have been very intense as far as fires go, but new data shows GJFD stayed very busy. They recently released their 2019 annual report, which shows EMS calls took up most of the department's time.
“We had the Riverview Fire, which fortunately, no homes were lost.”
In 2019, that ten acre fire on the Fourth of July was really the only major blaze GJFD firefighters saw.
“We always have a high number of EMS calls, as a department, EMS is probably about 80 percent of what we do,” said department spokesman, Dirk Clingman.
The annual report from the department shows the bulk of the calls GJFD responded to were for EMS service
“Taking people to the hospital from their homes, back to their homes from the hospital, transferring between facilities.”
They got more than 13,000 of them last year. For reference, there were only about 280 fire calls.
In 2019, the fire department says they had a total of 116 fire and ems staff combined, but with so many EMS calls, there’s a new effort this year.
“In 2020, one of the things we are doing is we do have part time EMS responders, in what we call the Day Car, where they are responding to no-emergent transports that free up other apparatus for those 9-1-1 calls.”
They’ve added more staff to keep up, and it essentially frees up the emergency responders so they don’t have to take so many calls, which speeds up response times.
“More apparatus, more ambulances, and more staff to help distribute the call volume a little more evenly.”
With Ballot Measure 2B passing last year, the first major step in handling more calls is Station 6.
“It’s the first major purchase with the new First Responder Tax Money.”
A concept the department says, they’ll continue to build on.
“We did add a number of ambulances last year, and thankfully we’re getting better in that regard.”
The report shows the total responses from the department went up by more than 300 between 2018 and 2019, but the average calls per day stayed about the same around 46.
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