In December of 2019, the Grand Junction Fire Department (GJFD) hired four Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to serve a needed role in the community. This crew staffs an ambulance referred to as the “day car.” While most first responders for the department work 24-hour shifts, this crew works between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, seven days per week.
After analyzing data, the department determined that most EMS calls were occurring during daytime hours and the coverage offered by five current ambulances, serving 89,000 people, simply wasn’t enough. EMS Chief Sheldon Kier explained, “Crews were often responding from one call to the next without the time they need to write reports, conduct trainings, or receive important department information. The increased call load also translates to longer wait times for patients. The intent is that the day car will focus their efforts on non-emergent patient transports between medical facilities so that the other five ambulances are available for a response. The day car can respond to 911 calls as well to reduce the workload within the EMS system.
Since the implementation of the day car model, this ambulance has picked up just over 6% of all calls. However, they handled between 30-40% of non-emergent medical facility transport calls that reduced the overall workload of all ambulances. While that may not seem like a significant amount, it does allow the other five ambulances to stay in their service area and it reduces travel time to get to patients. Chief Kier explained, “With a more balanced call load, crews are also able to complete required training and administrative duties such as writing their reports in a timely manner. Ultimately, this balanced workload allows all EMS crews to dedicate the time necessary to provide the quality care that our patients deserve and to maintain the required education to keep up with best practices.”
For more information contact the Community Outreach Office at (970)549-5858 or by e-mail at GJFirePIO@gjcity.org. Let’s be careful out there.