IAEMSC member name : Ezekiel Peters, Deputy Chief Paramedic
EMS agency name: Clear Creek EMS
Agency location/area served: Clear Creek County, Colorado
Service type: County Third Service
Number of staff: EMT’s 11 Paramedics 21, Support staff: 1
Annual call volume statistics:
911 responses: 1,514
911 transports: 856
- Population of coverage area: 6,900 residents; greater than 11.4 million vehicle trips transiting county annually on Interstate 70, each with approximately 2.4 occupants
- Square mileage of coverage area: 350
Ambulance Fleet information
- Number of BLS ambulances: 0
- Number of ALS ambulances: 5 paramedic-level equipped (2 deployed from stations on 48/96 schedule; additional 1-2 dynamically deployed for peak hours)
- Number of supervisory units: 3 rescue trucks, primarily used by 2 chiefs (3 shift captains provide field supervision from ambulances)
- Specialty units/resources: 1 Regional disaster trailer, 1 Mule for special events
Ezekiel Peters is a licensed attorney and paramedic with an academic background in public health and environmental policy. For over 25 years, he has worked in Emergency Medical Services in both urban and rural systems, as a responder and leader, with an emphasis on resilience-building activities. Prior to joining Clear Creek EMS three years ago, Peters managed the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center’s national information clearinghouse.
He continues to work on initiatives to make academic knowledge more useful and accessible to practitioners and to improve information exchange across hazards disciplines.
Clear Creek is a rural county on the Interstate 70 mountain corridor from about 20 miles west of Denver to the Continental Divide. Clear Creek EMS serves the municipalities of Idaho Springs, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume and the unincorporated areas of the County in an Emergency Services District, and is essentially the only healthcare provider in those areas. In addition to being a thoroughfare to the Western Slope, the service area includes four peaks with greater than 14,000 feet elevation, four major mountain passes, two ski areas, Clear Creek, and extensive U.S. Forest Service Wilderness. Clear Creek EMS co-responds primarily with the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho Springs and Georgetown Police, the volunteer Clear Creek Fire Authority, and the volunteer Alpine Rescue Team.
Clear Creek County is part of the Denver Urban Area Security Initiative and Colorado North Central All-Hazards (Homeland Security Grant) Region, and Clear Creek EMS is heavily involved in regional health and disaster resilience planning and projects. To operate in its mountain environment, Clear Creek EMS is an active stakeholder in a new regional simulcast analog VHF radio system (overlaying the statewide 800 MHz trunked system) and routinely deploys several technical rescue capabilities, including rope, swiftwater, backcounty, and avalanche response. Because of the diversity of calls and a minimum 20-mile transport to the closest hospital, Clear Creek EMS’s average call duration is 2.5 hours (from dispatch to back in county).
Clear Creek EMS has seen a 21 percent increase in call volume this year-to-date compared to 2014 and 2015, our two busiest years on record. While the increase is apparently from increased outdoor tourism, it is happening in a county with an aging population facing a projected 70 percent decrease in tax revenue over the next five years due to declines in molybdenum mining. Clear Creek EMS is currently a general-fund County agency under a fully integrated Health and Human Services Division. However, this November, voters will decide a ballot initiative to transition the agency into an independent health services district, an independent government with its own taxing authority.