Vail Valley ambulance calls drop in 2009 |

Vail Valley ambulance calls drop in 2009

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – The Eagle County Ambulance District reported fewer emergency calls in 2009 as compared to the previous year.

The agency responded to 3,225 requests for service in 2009, 493 fewer than the previous year, a decrease of 13.4 percent. That call load included 2,027 patient transports and 231 inter-facility transfers. In 2008, the breakdown of calls was 2,151 transports and 256 transfers.

The heaviest call volume came in March, 2009 with 504 emergency calls, the lightest month in May with 128 calls. The agency does not attribute the reduction in call volume to any single factor.

“The emergency call volume can fluctuate based on a number of factors,” said Fred Morrison, district manager. “We did not have as much severe weather, especially late in the year, and that could be part of it. But, there may be fewer travelers in Eagle County with the down economy.

“The call volume in 2009 was similar to what we saw in 2005 through 2007.”

While transport calls were down, patient transfer calls in 2009 were similar to 2008 with only 25 fewer runs. Transfer runs (moving patients from Vail Valley Medical Center to hospitals in Denver and Grand Junction) have remained relatively steady through the decade.

“We continually watch the statistics so that we can plan our staffing and ensure quality care for our residents,” said Morrison. “We have heavier staffing during the ski season and less in summer and shoulder seasons. We’re working hard to provide excellent service while also paying attention to the bottom line.”

The agency’s board of directors recently voted unanimously to temporarily reduce its property tax rates after assessed property valuations increased dramatically. The reduction will remain in effect through 2010, saving district residents an estimated $564,000.

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