SLVH Supplies Ballistic Vests to Valley EMS Agencies

SLV Health stepped up in support of the San Luis Valley’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies. SLVH purchased 48 ballistic vest carriers and plates (body armor) for the 10 Regional EMS Trauma Advisory Council (RETAC) agencies throughout the San Luis Valley Region. This includes EMS agencies from Saguache, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande, Mineral, and Alamosa Counties.

Ballistic protective equipment is worn when responding to active shooter and mass casualty incidents to support the entry of EMS personnel into a warm zone for triage, treatment, and extrication of the wounded. Many are using this on higher risk and even routine calls at this time, including responding to domestic violence and behavioral health situations.

“Having ballistic vests is crucial to the safety of EMS providers in our region. Every day the ambulance drivers and first responders are at an increased risk of arriving at a violent scene. SLV Health is proud to collaborate with these great teams throughout the Valley,” commented Konnie Martin, SLVH CEO.

Ryan Daugherty, SLVH EMS Director added, “Although there is not a single data collection entity, EMS providers and first responders have reported an increase in violence toward them in general. There have also been multiple best practices and policy updates from State and Federal entities with the uptick of Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents occurring that lead to increasing calls for EMS to have to run into danger (Warm Zones) to save lives. EMS agencies nationwide are beginning to make such Ballistic Vests and body armor routine Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) for every call.”

These vests have been deployed to agencies throughout the SLV and will no doubt improve safety and enhance operational capability for all. These are universal vests and are adjustable and available for all providers to wear. The EMS providers are extremely grateful to SLV Health for their generous donation.

SF FireRescue Team with vests

Members of the South Fork Fire Rescue Team Pose with Donated Vests.

Front Rows, L to R: Ben Webster, Linette Nye Schmit, Amy Blackmon, Lucas Slade, Shannon Goldsberry, Courtney Arthur, Melanie Dickey, Andy Dickey
Back Rows, L to R: Tyler Schmidt, Chris Miyaki, Tyler Hathorn, Michael Filipi, Tyler Off, Woody Wilson, Jed Pilant, Stafford Wilson, Tyrell Harris, Brittany Off

Members of Costilla County EMS

L to R: Ernest Abeyta, Kelly Gallegos, Ryan Daugherty, Miranda Garel, Stacey Kiesel, Tennie Masterson, Anne Quinlan, and Amy Norris