For West Metro Fire Rescue, 2022 was an extremely busy year with a record number of calls. And a year where the district added new resources to continue to provide a high level of service. From New Year’s Day in January to New Year’s Eve in December, our firefighters responded to 41,234 emergencies, a five percent increase over the year before.
Like most fire districts, medical emergencies make up the majority of West Metro’s calls. And that’s why, in August 2022, we added a new ambulance, or medic to our resources.
Medic 17 is housed at Station 17, on 38th Avenue near Parfet Street in Wheat Ridge. The medic is providing service on the busy north side of the district, enhancing response not only for medical calls, but for every emergency.
And, on New Year’s Day 2023, we put Medic 8 into service. The ambulance runs out of our Station 8, located on Jewell Avenue near Garrison Street in the center of the fire district. West Metro now has 14 medics in service.
In 2022, West Metro also expanded our mobile integrated healthcare program, hiring new staff for our Advanced Resource Medic, or ARM Car. The ARM Car is like a house call on wheels, allowing us to treat patients in place, potentially avoiding a trip to the emergency room. The program is designed to reduce the burden on the 9-1-1 system and meet the needs of underserved communities.
The ARM Car and staff partner each week with the Lakewood Police Community Action Team. The CAT team works to provide services and resources to people experiencing homelessness in Lakewood. The ARM car and staff provide on-site medical care to those who need it.
For the third time in 2022, West Metro was reaccredited with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. It’s an honor held by just 301 fire service agencies around the world. We’ve held accredited agency status since 2012.
The accreditation evaluation focuses on the level of service we provide to residents and businesses, and the district’s commitment to the community. West Metro is also ISO Class 1 certified, one of just 114 agencies to achieve both accreditation and the top ISO rating.
The accreditation process demands that we continue to improve our response times and our quality of service, even as our call volume continues to rise. It’s a challenge, but our mission is protecting lives and property, what we focus on every day of the year.
Ronda Scholting is West Metro Fire Rescue’s Public Information Officer.