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Dolores Fire and Southwest EMS partner to improve response times

Goal is to improve response times, training

Southwest Memorial Hospital has placed an ambulance and crew with the Dolores Fire Protection District in an effort to improve response times, the hospital announced on June 30.

The ambulance and crew will be at Station No. 1 for seven days a week, 10 hours per day pending medical emergencies that need additional responders, Haley Leonard, marketing and PR director at Southwest Health System, said in a news release.

“We are very pleased to partner with Southwest Memorial Hospital EMS to provide a quicker response to the residents of our fire district and the areas in Dolores county that we cover. It will ensure ALS (advance life support) response on all of our calls,” said Dolores Fire Chief Mike Zion.

“Stationing the ambulance and crew at the Dolores Fire Station will improve response times to Dolores, Rico, Groundhog and other surrounding areas by 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day.” said Southwest Memorial EMS Chief Matt Lindsay. “This reduction in response times improves the chance of survival in patients with life-threatening emergencies.”

Dolores Fire Protection Services will remain unchanged, though the partnership takes pressure off volunteers who have other jobs during the day, and can’t respond to medical emergencies.

Southwest and Dolores Fire currently work together, “and feel this relationship will continue to strengthen this great partnership,” Leonard said.

Zion will continue oversee operations at Dolores Fire, and Southwest will assume a support role. Southwest will also providing monthly training opportunities as well as an emergency medical responder refresher course for volunteers beginning in 2018.

Southwest and Dolores Fire plan to hold an open house on Aug. 19 in Dolores.

Dolores Fire is run by 30 volunteers with certified life-saving and firefighting skills, including technical rescue, Hazmat and EMS. The volunteers meet regularly to ensure their skills and equipment are current.

Southwest Memorial Hospital EMS is a part of Southwest Health System in Cortez. It provides advanced life support services and is nationally certified in EMT training.

For more information, visit Facebook.com/SWEMSTrainingcenter.

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