Aspen and Snowmass Ambulance, police, sheriff and fire departments Staff Up for USA Pro Challenge
If you have an emergency health issue requiring an ambulance during the USA Pro Challenge bike races next week, chances are you’ll get treatment from an EMT or Paramedic even sooner than you would on a normal day. Both Aspen and Snowmass Ambulance Districts are staffing up for the races and there will be at least double the number of ambulances and emergency responders standing by in case of emergency.
“We normally have one ambulance on call that is fully staffed on any given day in Aspen,” said Director of the Aspen Ambulance District, Jim Richardson.
Four ambulances, for bike racer and public mishaps, will be located on McLain Flats Road, in Brush Creek Village, at Aspen Valley Hospital and in downtown Aspen. In addition, there will be three fully staffed ambulances staged in the Snowmass Village area alone.
Aspen Police, Pitkin County Sheriff, Snowmass Village Police, and the Aspen and Snowmass Fire Departments will also be more than doubling staff during the race. Mountain Rescue Aspen will also be on standby.
“It has been our commitment and number one priority to maintain public safety during this event,” said Pitkin County Sheriff, Joe DiSalvo. “If there’s a crime, a fire, a rescue, or anything else that threatens the community’s safety we’ll be there like we always are,” DiSalvo said.
During last year’s race a Carbondale man riding a bicycle suffered a heart attack near the top of Independence Pass. It is believe he survived in part due to the quick response by paramedics who were on the scene for the racers.
“On a normal day, there are no ambulances stationed on the Pass and there is no cell phone service up there. It would take us quite a while to get from the hospital to the top of Independence. A heart attack victim needs immediate care. I’m convinced that man would have died if we hadn’t been as close to him as we were that day,” Richardson said.