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TRINIDAD AMBULANCE Training, dedication and deputization make for a unique ambulance corps

TRINIDAD — Members of the Trinidad Ambulance Corps provide professional service to the residents of Las Animas County. They respond to 2,000 calls a year and provide several other services. Trindad Ambulance mans two ambulances 24/7 each with a paramedic and a trained EMT. There is also a backup crew on standby to respond to a third call, and they work closely with surrounding counties with a mutual aid agreement. There are six paramedics and six EMTs who are IV certified. A paramedic must have 1,500 hours of training for certification and be recertified every three years by written and practical test and classes. They must constantly complete in-service and refresher training to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date with new technology. They have a quick response team (QRT) of trained volunteers to respond from around the county to help at medical emergencies and provide basic life support. The team is made up of 54 Emergency Responders/EMS. They are skilled and dedicated volunteers from four fire protection districts and two volunteer fire departments located within the Trinidad Ambulance District boundaries. The Trinidad Ambulance corps started a Rescue Task Force with the Trinidad Police and

Las Animas Sheriff. Several of their members are trained and deputized by the sheriff to carry firearms in the event of a hostage situation in a school or business. There is a need for this because at the Columbine tragedy, most victims bled to death because it took hours for EMS workers to enter the school. With this training, they can enter immediately and remove any victims to a triage area away from the incident. They provide caravan service to people who cannot drive themselves to medical appointments and treatments. They take people to Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center and Pueblo medical facilities, if necessary, for dialysis and other lifesaving procedures. They offer free child seat installation and inspection. The ambulance corps offers community education programs where they teach classes in CPR and AED, certified by the American Heart Association. With this training, residents can help people with medical emergencies. Trinidad Ambulance District is governed by a board of directors with five elected members. The day-to-day operations are under the supervision of Junie Verquer, PIER Officer, and Dan Bates, Assistant EMS Chief. In 2011 they moved into a newly constructed headquarters building which gave them more room for their equipment, staff and training classes. The residents of Las Animas County should be very proud of their ambulance service. The service they provide saves many lives.