From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 30 - October 18, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Sand Draw Rescue Facility Operational

by Tiffany Turner

After nearly two years of hardworkand anticipation, the Sand Draw Rescue facility (SDR) officially “opened” onOct. 8.

The facility will be staffed 24-hours a day with two full time EMS personnel (at least one of which will be a full-module EMT intermediate). “We are hoping that through the support of volunteers and full-time medics on days off from their regular rotation that we will be able to staff it with three personnel,” Sublette County EMS Supervisor Wil Gay said.

Gay said the SDR ambulance is also nearly ready to go.

“We have purchased the extrication tool and it is on board,” he said. “EnCana has chosen to send their own employees to rope rescue training, so we will not have ropes on board and we are still waiting on a couple of fittings for our extinguisher system, so it is not operational at this time.”

“The new facility means a great deal to us at EnCana,” EnCana Community Relations Liaison Paul Ulrich said. “The significant reduction in response time to the Jonah Field and 191 is critical to our workforce and everyone on the roads – I can’t tell you how much this means to us.”

“To think that response times will now be reduced by 25 to 30 minutes is incredible,” Gay said.

Boundary lines for the facility have been drawn and according toGay, they are as follows: “On 191, SDR will cover from the county line to the south up to State Highway 353 (Boulder Highway), from mile marker 15 on Boulder Highway all the way south as far as the county goes. On state Highway 351 it will cover from the intersection of 191 to mile marker 13,” he said.

The facility will also house and office for the Sublette County Sheriff ’s Office (SCSO), which Sheriff Bardy Bardin has also offered to Wyoming Highway Patrol for use. “It improves the safety for everyone,” Bardin said. “We have a huge jump on accidents (now) and it (was) a safety issue for our employees as well.”

Bardin said, as much fun as it sounds to speed down the road with sirens blaring and lights flashing it is actually a very nerve-wracking time period.

“This is 20 miles we don’t have to travel,” he said. “Also, now patrolling vehicles can do their reports there and not have to come in first before they go home.”

Bardin said he has not staffed the office yet due to a shortage of deputies, but he is working on it. “The ambulance and new equipment are fantastic, state-of-the-art – more importantly, the people, the EMT’s, are first class,” Ulrich said. “Their commitment to all of us is incredible, we know we are in good hands each and every day.”

“Encana contributed a significant amount of money, but our investment was truly in spending a year with the EMTs, Shell, Ultra and BP in crafting and managing the project from start to finish,” Ulrich said. “The team put together something special, and in record time.”

“The facility is magnificent,” Gay said. “Tony and Bonnie Chambers deserve a pat on the back for a job well done... a huge thank you to the gas companies, EnCana, Shell, Ultra and BP for their generous donations to the project and, of course, the county commissioners for their contribution as well, and to Mary Lankford, county clerk, for managing the funds for the project and to the Rural Health Care District for agreeing to provide the funds to staff this facility fulltime.”

“All of this has been accomplished in just under two years, from the time it was first thought of through construction and now operational,” Gay added. “(It is) hard to measure how significant this facility is – lives will be saved because of this,” Ulrich said. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen – (Gay) and John Richter deserve a great amount of credit for this. When you see them in town, shake their hand and tell ‘em thanks.”

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