Grand Junction Fire Department, Colorado, will test new paramedic program

By Jason Burger, KKCO11 News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)– The Grand Junction Fire Department says they are testing a new program with paramedics next month.

The way it is now, paramedics are assigned to ambulances and respond to calls whether they are needed or not.

The fire department says in September, they are going to test out giving paramedics their own vehicles, so they can directly respond to emergencies themselves.

GJFD says paramedics aren’t needed at the majority of the calls they get, but EMS calls make up about 80% of their daily call load.

“They can respond faster and to the correct kind of call,” says spokesperson for GJFD, Dirk Clingman. “It’s really our responsibility as an agency to constantly assess our EMS model and making sure we are being as efficient as we possibly can be.”

The department says once they start the pilot program, they plan to test it out for about six months.