Photo of the Week: Colo. wildland paramedic team joins fire front line
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This week's Photo of the Week introduces Eagle County (Colo.) Paramedic Services' new specialized wildland paramedic team, which will work in tandem with hotshot crews to provide medical care on the front lines of wildfires.
“There’s a need for paramedics on the fire line due to the remoteness of these fires. Otherwise, access to immediate medical care can be far away,” Paramedic Joel Simonson, who spearheaded training for the six-member team. “Having a wildland fire team adds to our all-hazards approach to paramedicine and we can assist other departments in our response district. It’s good for our community, our county and for the wildland crews who are on the line.”
The medics received training to work with hand tools, cut a fire line, deploy fire shelters, walk long distances carrying up to 45 pounds of equipment and be self-sustaining while camping for long shifts in tough conditions.
The team consists of Simonson and fellow Eagle County Paramedics Mike Gasell, Conor Moran, Chris Rauzi, Greg Sawyer and Aaron Zinser.