Colorado Paramedic Service Launches Wildfire Medical Support Team

Eagle County medics to provide support on fire lines

 

Lt. Clayton Forsyth, Greater Eagle Fire District, stands with members of ECPS wildland fire team during the last day of training. From L to R: Chris Rauzi, Greg Sawyer, Aaron Zinser and Joel Simonson. Not pictured: Mike Gasell and Conor Moran. (Eagle County Paramedic Services, Facebook)

 

Wildland Firefighter

 

EDWARDS, Colorado – Vail Daily reports that Eagle County Paramedic Services has created a wildland fire team, made up of six paramedics specially trained to respond to medical or traumatic events during wildfires.

In a Facebook post Eagle County Paramedic Services said the team consists of Mike Gasell, Conor Moran, Chris Rauzi, Greg Sawyer, Joel Simonson and Aaron Zinser. Hank Bevington is serving as wildland fire supervisor.

The paramedics received wildland fire training and certifications allowing them to serve on the fire line or from an ambulance equipped to deploy for weeks at a time.

Members of the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District and Eagle River Fire Protection District provided training for the EMS wildland fire team with administrative guidance from Battalion Chief Ryan McCully of the Colorado River Region of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

The wildland EMS paramedics will work in tandem with firefighters and hotshot crews to ensure firefighters are at their best and healthy.

The medics will work 16 hours a day for 14 days straight when assigned to a fire. They will camp for the entire shift and carry provisions for three days.

In addition to working with hand tools, learning how to cut a fire line, deploy fire shelters and more, these paramedics have successfully passed a pack test: walking three miles in 45 minutes or less carrying a 45-pound pack. This training leads to the medics being “red carded” or receiving their Interagency Incident Qualification Card.

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