Hanging Lake emergencies strain Glenwood Fire Department resources

Medical calls at Hanging Lake are straining limited Glenwood Springs Fire Department staffing bandwidth, and the fire chief hopes that instituting a fee for the trail will provide some relief.

Glenwood Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said three types of calls to the department require the most staffing: structure fires, swiftwater rescues and Hanging Lake calls.

“Lots of people hike that trail who aren’t well-equipped, who don’t have good footwear or who are just not in shape for that kind of grueling hike. So we run into a variety of issues,” said the fire chief.

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The Fire Department’s role in Hanging Lake responses is primarily for emergency medical services. It doesn’t have enough staff to send a sufficient number of responders to do a full extraction of a patient, so Glenwood must rely on the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Garfield County Search and Rescue for expertise in retrieving people injured in spots that are difficult to reach.

When a call does come in, which could be anything from a twisted ankle to a serious injury, the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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