What is South Park Ambulance District?

The District, located in Park County, provides 911 emergency medical services in conjunction with ambulance services within the boundaries of the District.

The District is a quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision established under the laws of the State of Colorado Special District Act. The District was established by Court Order dated December 9, 1991, pursuant to Article 1 of Title 32 of the Colorado Revised Statutes 1973, as amended. The District also operates in accordance with the provisions of the Colorado Emergency Services Act, Section 25-3.5-101, et seq., C.R.S., as amended. The Board of Directors of the District is responsible for the operation of and policies with respect to the District, in accordance with statute and the Service Plan.

What is a Title 32-1, Special District?

Special Districts in Colorado are local governments, i.e., political subdivisions of the state, which make up a third level of government in the United States. (The federal and state governments are the other two levels.) Local governments include counties, municipalities (cities and towns), school districts, and other types of government entities such as “authorities” and “special districts.”

Colorado law limits the types of services that county governments can provide to residents. Districts are created to fill the gaps that may exist in the services counties provide and the services the residents may desire.

As political subdivisions of the State of Colorado, special districts are required to submit a number of required filings to various state agencies throughout the year. These filings are primarily financial, but also include election results, lists of boards of directors, and others.

For additional information: Colorado Department of Local Affairs

How is SPAD funded?

SPAD receives funds generated by property tax and fees for service (see Billing & Frequently Asked Questions page). The mill levy is 9.5 mills. The mill levy was raised with overwhelming support from the residents in a May 2018 special election.

For additional property tax information: Park County Assessor Website

If I pay property taxes will I receive a bill?

Yes. In order to keep the property tax mill levy as low as possible all patients utilizing ambulance transport are billed for services provided in accordance with recognized standards.  Also see the BILLING page for additional questions regarding our billing policy.

What is the SPAD service area?

SPAD is located in Park County on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide of the Central Rockies. Ambulances respond from the Headquarters Station located in Fairplay. Fairplay is approximately 85 miles southwest of Denver, 85 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, and 23 miles south of Breckenridge. The District provides service in an area of almost 1,500 square miles at an average elevation of 9,000 feet above sea level. 60% of calls for service are within a 15 minute response time from the station. View District Map

What level of emergency medical services does SPAD provide?

SPAD provides 3 Paramedic level staffed ambulances per shift. Minimum ambulance staffing is 1 Paramedic and 1 EMT. Staffing has been provided by career (full-time & part-time paid) personnel since 1992. All employees work under the supervision of the Medical Director utilizing national standard treatment protocols. SPAD utilizes the Denver Metro EMS Protocols

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment certifies entry level competency of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for the State of Colorado. EMTs in Colorado can be certified at one of three different levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic. Certification is based on successful completion of a recognized training course and an application process (including fingerprint-based criminal history records check) conducted by the EMT Certification Program.

EMTs are allowed to perform medical acts as delegated by a Medical Director. All EMTs providing patient care in Colorado are required to have a Medical Director who directs how and where an EMT may practice. Medical Directors are physicians regulated by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners and the scope of practice for EMTs can be found in the Board of Medical Examiners Rule 500.

How is SPAD equipped?

SPAD has a fleet of six 4 wheel drive, Type 1, ambulances. Four ambulances are licensed as Advanced Life Support (ALS) and two reserve ambulances are licensed as Basic Life Support (BLS) by Park County in compliance with state requirements. One of the BLS ambulances is designated for the transport of COVID-19 patients. The ambulances carry all equipment necessary to perform ALS treatments including 12-lead cardiac monitors, endotracheal intubation, medication administration, CPAP and other advanced medical interventions. Ambulances are equipped with VHF and 800 MHz radios as well as cellular phones. An established fleet replacement plan ensures that vehicles are replaced on a consistent basis. Crews utilize a computer based incident reporting system. The District has two BLS quick response units. A Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) trailer is equipped to provide treatment to 35 patients. The MCI trailer is available for response throughout the county and the region.

How do you determine where to transport a patient?

Patients are transported to the closest appropriate hospital utilizing established protocols and state mandated destination policies. There are no definitive care facilities within the county. In 2005 Summit Medical Center at Frisco, a Level 3 Trauma Center, opened. This is now the nearest hospital. Additionally, patients may be transported to Denver or Colorado Springs. Depending on the location of the incident patients may be transported to Woodland Park, Salida, and Canon City. Average time with a patient, during Front Range transports, is 110 minutes.

When do you use a helicopter for patient transport?

SPAD personnel utilize specific protocol-based criteria to determine when the patient condition requires helicopter transport. Weather permitting helicopter transport is routinely used for critical patients. The only Level 1 Trauma Centers are located in Denver. Helicopters are based in Denver, Colorado Springs, Summit County and Pueblo.

What do I do if I need an ambulance?

Immediately DIAL 911. Park County has Enhanced 911 (E911) capabilities. Your location will be provided to the center. Your 911 call will be answered by a trained communications specialist at the Park County Communications Center (PCCC). PCCC will immediately dispatch the necessary resources. The SPAD service area covers three fire protection districts. In addition to an ambulance the nearest fire district unit will also be dispatched to respond as part of a tiered response system. If the fire unit arrives first they will provide BLS interventions until the arrival of the of the ALS ambulance. The appropriate law enforcement agency may also be dispatched.

What fire protections districts are located in the SPAD service area?

  • Fairplay / Alma (Central area): North-West Fire Protection District
  • Jefferson / Como (North / NE area): Jefferson-Como Fire Protection District
  • Hartsel (South / SE / SW area): Hartsel Fire Protection District

Information for each fire district is provided on our Links page.