Gunnison Valley Health Foundation is raising funds to help provide an improved
home for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) here in the Gunnison Valley.
Gunnison Valley Health Foundation Chair John Tarr said due to increased
demand in the Valley for emergency services, the crew has outgrown their
current space forcing them to sleep and live separately from where their
vehicles are housed.
“As the first link to emergency medical care, our EMS team is a critical
component of our healthcare system,” said Dr. Tarr. “With
the evolution of the service from a volunteer based to a full time professional
service, the 24 hour, 7 days a week availability of rapid response necessitates
that after hours crew be housed near the ambulances. The current ambulance
garage does not include adequate quarters for the on-call crew, so they
currently respond from a block away. Adding the few minutes that it takes
them to get from their housing to their ambulances is highly undesirable
when every second counts.”
“Bringing their sleeping quarters and vehicles under the same roof
will enable a quicker response time and allow them to do what they do
best – save lives,” he said.
Gunnison Valley Health’s EMS team services a radius of 4,400 square
miles incorporating the north end of Hinsdale and Saguache counties. They
respond to all emergency situations, transfer critical patients to specialized
hospitals and help move residents during natural disasters. In 2018, EMS
responded to 1,205 calls, with 35% of those calls occurring during the
evening and early hours of the morning.
Gunnison Valley Health’s EMS Chief Christian Malcolm said for living
quarters to be housed under the same roof as the vehicles will optimize
response time in crisis situations.
“We are passionate about helping our community when they need us
in chaotic and distressing circumstances,” said Chief Malcolm.
“For the community to come to our aid and help us improve our home
would enable us continue to provide outstanding critical care more quickly
and efficiently,” he said.
To help support EMS, sign up for Gunnison Valley Health Foundation’s
annual golf tournament at Dos Rios Golf Club on Friday June 28 by calling
Tammy Scott at 970-642-8406 or register online at
gunnisonvalleyhealth.org/golf. For more information or to donate