Medical personnel to staff Horsetooth Reservoir this summer

Jessie Trudell

Medical personnel will now staff ranger boats on Horsetooth Reservoir, according to a news release from the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.

“This partnership is important so we can provide, if needed, advanced life support when minutes can change lives,” said Jim Hawkins, senior ranger and boat safety coordinator with Larimer County in the recent news release.

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During summer weekends and holidays, county boat rangers will be joined by trained medical personnel from UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital emergency medical services or by a volunteer emergency medical technician from Poudre Fire Authority.

“Paramedics and EMTs will be crucial for providing aid rapidly when medical situations arise at Horsetooth Reservoir and surrounding open spaces,” Hawkins said.

On Saturday evening Harrison Reid, a CSU freshman in Natural Resources Management, sits atop Duncan's Ridge overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir. (Photo Credit: Madison Brandt)
Harrison Reid, a CSU freshman in Natural Resources Management, sits atop Duncan’s Ridge overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir. (Photo Credit: Madison Brandt)

Trained medical personnel will already be at Horsetooth to help in the event of motor vehicle accidents, hiking injuries, snakebites, heat exhaustion and other emergency medical situations. 

UCHealth estimates that staffing ranger boats with medical personnel will save 20 to 27 minutes in getting help to those in emergency situations on Horsetooth Reservoir.

Rangers, paramedics and EMTs trained for more than 40 hours together in May to prepare for the influx of visitors at Horsetooth Reservoir during the summer months.

“We are greatly appreciative of the training that we received from the rangers to help us safely do our jobs on the water,” said Ted Beckman, division chief of UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital emergency medical services.

Medical personnel staffing rangers boats will run from Memorial Day until Labor Day weekends.

“There are inherent risks to recreational activities in and around the park,” Beckman said. “We see a benefit to having a paramedic in proximity during peak hours.”

Collegian Reporter Jessie Trudell can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @JessieTrudell.