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UNHS to Provide ambulance service... Medically Speaking-Volume One, Number Six 12/12/13

UNHS to provide ambulance service…

Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. has taken another step in it's efforts to provide the finest in healthcare to the residents of San Juan County.

According to UNHS Transportation Director Dustin Coggeshell, UNHS has purchased two ambulances from Dixie Ambulance Service in St George, and received two additional ambulances from San Juan County as a donation.

"The two ambulances from Dixie were for sale at a bankruptcy auction and we purchased a 2007 ambulance for $10,000, and purchased a 2004 ambulance for $5,000," Coggeshell said. "Each ambulance is a Ford Diesel on a dually chassis and they were manufactured by an ambulance maker called Wheeled Coach. The ambulances are in good condition for their year."

Coggeshell said UNHS will have four ambulances in all. One 911 ambulance will be in Monument Valley, serving the Monument Valley, Oljato and Halchita areas. One 911 ambulance will be in Montezuma Creek serving the areas of Montezuma Creek, Red Mesa, Utah, Cahone Mesa, Hovenweep, McCracken Mesa, Hatch and halfway to Bluff. The third ambulance will be the interfaculty ambulance and will be used to transport patients from the Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley clinics to nearby hospitals for a higher level of medical care. The fourth ambulance will be a reserve ambulance, used as a back up in the event one of our other ambulances goes down.

"Our goal for EMS is to improve response time by having UNHS certified EMT's respond during working hours, as well as nights and weekends," Coggeshell explained. "Our current EMT's for San Juan County will continue to provide staffing for our UNHS EMS ambulances, we plan to have an EMT-Basic course soon, to increase staffing of volunteer paid EMT's for the entire Utah Navajo Strip."

As late as last week, Coggeshell said UNHS has twenty EMT's with UNHS EMS Instructor and course Coordinator Ray Whaley overseeing their training. Whaley is not only an EMT, he is a certified Paramedic, who brings many years of experience to the UNHS EMS service.

Coggeshell said the UNHS ambulances will be dispatched by the San Juan County Sheriff's dispatcher with the names, UNHS Med 1, UNHS Med 2 and UNHS Med 3. He said there will be two trained crews for each ambulance with either a paramedic or advanced EMT and a basic EMT on board. There will also be a floating crew available to respond. During the day, pages will be screened at the Montezuma Creek Clinic. At night, and during weekends and holidays, EMT's will carry pagers to respond to calls.

An ambulance garage has been remodeled in Monument Valley, with the space donated by Gouldings.

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