From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 2 - April 5, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Governor visits Sand Draw Rescue Center site

by Trey Wilkinson

Gov. Dave Freudenthal recently made a trip to the Sand Draw Rescue Center to celebrate the open house of the facility.

In a joint effort to reduce fire and emergency response time to operations and rural residents, the Sublette County government, the oil and gas industry and the Sublette County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) partnered to establish the Sand Draw Rescue Center.

Freudenthal arrived at the Sand Draw Industrial Park at approximately 9:40 a.m. Tuesday morning to meet with representatives from the Sublette County Commissioners, Sublette County EMS, Sublette County Sheriff’s Department, EnCana Oil & Gas USA Inc., Ultra Petrolium, Shell Rocky Mountain, BP, Sublette County Rural Health Care District and Sublette County community members to celebrate the building of the Sand Draw Rescue Center, located 22 miles south of Pinedale and 25 miles east of Big Piney.

The center will help reduce the response time for fire and emergency medical services by at least 20 minutes to the southeastern corner of the county, including Jonah Field, sections of the Pinedale Anticline and rural residents. The center will also be vital in providing a centralized facility that will help reduce impacts to the communities and improve local operations.

“Based on the increasing number of ambulance runs to gas field related calls, as well as traffic accidents on Highway 191 south, the need for this facility has been justified countless times,” Ultra Petroleum coordinator Wendy Boman said. “Ambulance response times will be reduced substantially creating a better outcome and survival for victims of illness or injury.”

Boman credited Sublette County EMS supervisor Wil Gay and EnCana Oil & Gas community liaison Paul Ulrich for being the “brainchild” of the center.

Freudenthal commented on the cooperation between all involved parties.

“I hope this is the first of many of these combined efforts,” Freudenthal said. “Companies don’t always work together, but here they did and it’s great to see.”

According to Ulrich, the center’s completion date is set for June.

“We’ve been working on this project for one and a half years and I couldn’t be happier to see the fruits of our labor,” Ulrich said. “It’s going to be a big benefit for our workforce, the residents and travelers on Highway 191.”

Freudenthal complimented the Sublette County community and operators.

“I think this speaks to two things,” he said. “First to the quality of the community here and second to the cooperation of the operators. It’s great the local government supports such a project.”

Construction of the Sand Draw Rescue Center broke ground in December and will house a full ambulance crew 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a new ambulance and equipment, along with space for a computer lab, kitchen, restrooms and office space for Sublette County EMS, Sublette County Sheriff’s Department and Sublette County Emergency Management.

The four operators contributed a total of $900,000, and the Sublette County Commissioners contributed $500,000. Eric and Pat Fairbanks of Black Horse Construction provided a parcel in the Sand Draw Industrial Park at no cost while the Sublette County Rural Health Care District committed to providing personnel to staff an ambulance full-time at approximately $250,000 a year.

“The generosity of the oil and gas industry and the Sublette County Commissioners will provide enhanced emergency response and keep Sublette County workers and residents safer,” Gay said. “It’s a great example of organizations and people working together to better protect and benefit our community.”

The money provided by the operators and commissioners was used to purchase the lot, buy a new ambulance and construct a building. Chambers Design & Build are constructing the facility. The building foundation has been poured, and the anticipated completion date is mid-June.

Some of the information in this article came from a media release.

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