Eagle County Ambulance District had a busy year | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Ambulance District had a busy year

EDWARDS, Colorado – The Eagle County Ambulance District logged its second-busiest year in 2010, topped by the most call-intensive December ever.

For better or worse, the ambulance business reflects everyone else’s, said Fred Morrison, ECAD manager.

Local business is up, and so are they.

“I have always believed that it’s a reflection of how many people are here. I think there has been an uptick,” Morrison said. “From everything we can tell, bookings are up. When people are here, some of them are bound to become our clients.”

ECAD was called out 3,421 times in 2010, including 238 transfers to regional hospitals. December saw more than 500 calls, including a record 38 patient transfers to Denver and Grand Junction hospitals.

“From the looks of it, January is shaping up to be just as busy,” Morrison said.

December’s call load stemmed from bad weather and additional car accidents on Interstate 70, as well as the 10 percent uptick in visitors this winter season.

The 2010 overall numbers are up 6 percent over 2009, with a 10 percent jump in actual patients transported. In 2009, ECAD responded to 3,225 calls and transported just over 2,000 patients to hospitals.

ECAD’s Traer Creek station opened in November 2009 to handle calls in and around Avon and its I-70 segment.

“The station has been invaluable to how we operate and serve the community,” Morrison said.

December’s 38 out-of-valley transports mark the most transfers to regional medical centers that ECAD has ever handled in one month.

To keep up with it all, ECAD staffs three full paramedic crews – Avon, Edwards and Vail – around the clock during the winter months, with an additional daytime crew from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Ambulances can be added when call loads require it, Morrison said.

Before 2010, ECAD’s busiest year was in 2008, when crews responded to 3,718 calls including 2,151 transports and 256 transfers.

The Eagle County Ambulance District was founded in 1982. It covers 770 square miles of eastern Eagle County, including Vail, Eagle-Vail, Minturn, Red Cliff, Avon, Beaver Creek, Edwards, Wolcott, Bond, McCoy, and 46 miles of I-70.

Of Colorado’s 200 ambulance transport agencies, ECAD was the first and is one of only four to be nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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