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Colo. assembles task force to evaluate medical services, systems

The group will make recommendations under a new law that lets the state health department set ground ambulance standards and establish a licensing system


Image/Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

By Leila Merrill

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Tuesday that it has established a 20-member EMS task force to evaluate medical services and systems throughout the state.

The Ambulance Service Sustainability and State Licensing Law, signed in June, lets the health department set statewide standards for ground ambulance agencies. This includes a state licensing system.

The group “will issue reports and recommendations on consistent statewide standards for ground and air ambulance services, equitable access, staffing and retention, and sustainable funding,” according to a news release from the state health department.

The task force’s mission is important now given staffing and resource strains and is the first system review in over two decades, according to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Emergency Services Division Director Randy Kuykendall.

“We’re losing EMS agencies in our rural communities at a rate that I’ve never seen in my four-plus decades of EMS service,” Kuykendall told KRDO.

Members of the task force include doctors, paramedics and fire chiefs.