New app helps emergency medical responders reach you before they reach you

Emergency medical teams can assess COVID-19 symptoms before arrival

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Paramedics and emergency medical technicians from fire departments across Garfield County are gearing up to contact patients on their phones to chat about their symptoms on the way to medical emergency scenes. This will give first responders a digital way to discover if symptoms may be COVID-19 related while en route, allowing them to conserve critical personal protective equipment (PPE).

People who are concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have any symptoms, may consider downloading the Hippo Health app to their phones. In the event they need to dial 911 for assistance, first responders can send them an invite to ask questions in a video chat on the way to the scene. This telemedicine interview with Emergency Medical Service (EMS) crews may save assessment time on arrival, and help form EMS decisions before teams enter a building.

“The big benefit to telemedicine is it will allow us to conserve PPE and allow additional protection for the EMTs and paramedics – providing them with peace of mind,” said Scott Van Slyke, EMS Branch Director of the Garfield Incident Management Team. “It helps us take the right precautions and preserve PPE to protect the community longer.”

Due to the rapid human to human transmission and potential spread of coronavirus through microscopic airborne droplets, emergency responders are likely to be exposed to COVID-19 on any call involving a patient with specific symptoms. The advantage of having an awareness of exact symptoms, exposure and risk that a patient has had will give paramedics and EMTs better knowledge of what they may be walking into once on scene.

First responders need to triage a patient immediately when arriving; and are already using targeted new screening questions starting as early as on the initial 911 call to determine what a patient’s needs and COVID-19 risk level is. Previously, 911 dispatchers have asked reporting parties certain health condition questions, especially in the case of breathing difficulties. Now, the questions include a panel of COVID-19 related symptom questions as well, which may include if you have had a fever, cough or shortness of breath, and if you have been in direct contact with a person in another known COVID-19 case.

As dispatchers run through protocol when speaking with 911 callers, they obtain a name, phone number, date of birth, and info on symptomology, and now via the Hippo Health app will relay that information through mobile data terminals to responding ambulance crews. Patient condition and symptoms will also be relayed to law enforcement and hospitals which will receive the patients.

“The value for someone who is symptomatic and reaches the point that they call 911, but may not need to go to the hospital, is that we can talk to them over the app to advise them,” said Chief Gary Tillotson of Glenwood Fire. “We can also help be an adjunct to talking with that person’s physician to explain their symptoms.”

Tillotson recommends those who are experiencing symptoms call their primary care provider early, and particularly if they have underlying medical conditions. He says by starting the conversation early it will help determine the trigger points for decision making when treatment is needed. He says that type of conversation may help eliminate a need for a 911 call.

Hippo Health may also assist in triaging patients if hospitals become full and there are fewer choices for where to take people for treatment, as it can help influence how rapidly a person can get to medical care and where they should be routed.

“Colorado River Fire Rescue just pushed a training out to its members on the new telemedicine app,” said Van Slyke, a battalion chief with CRFR.

Hippo Health is available for downloading in app stores for Apple and Android devices; and has a web-based platform for individuals who do not own a smart phone. The website for Hippo Health states it was founded by experienced emergency physicians who wanted to ease healthcare frustrations and make telehealth simple for physicians and patients alike.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

“It’s important that individuals with serious chronic health issues like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and the like, do not forgo medical attention with their primary care providers during this time of Covid-19,” said Dr. Kevin Coleman, CMO, Grand River Health.

“These are conditions that need constant monitoring. You can make an appointment with your physician or make a virtual appointment. Just about every primary care provider in the valley has the ability to do a virtual visit or telemedicine.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to not delay or neglect your health in any manner during this time,” he added.


COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

abril 13, 2020
Nueva aplicación ayuda a servicios de emergencias médicas a comunicarse con usted antes de que lleguen en persona

Equipos médicos de emergencia podrán evaluar síntomas de COVID-19 antes de llegar

CONDADO DE GARFIELD, CO – Paramédicos y técnicos médicos de emergencia de los departamentos de bomberos en el condado de Garfield se preparan para contactar a pacientes por teléfono y conversar sobre síntomas cuando van en camino a las escenas de emergencia médica. Esto dará a los primeros auxilios una forma digital para descubrir si los síntomas pueden ser relacionados con COVID-19 mientras van en camino, permitiéndoles conservar equipos críticos de protección personal (EPP).

Personas preocupadas de haber estado expuestas a COVID-19, o que tienen algún síntoma, pueden considerar descargar la aplicación Hippo Health a sus teléfonos. En caso de que necesiten llamar al 911 para ayuda, paramédicos pueden enviarles una invitación y hacer preguntas por video chat cuando van en camino a la escena.  Esta entrevista de telemedicina con el Servicio Médico de Emergencia (EMS) puede ahorrar tiempo de evaluación a su llegada y ayuda al EMS a tomar decisiones antes de que los equipos entren al edificio.

 “El gran beneficio de la telemedicina nos permitirá conservar el EPP y brindar protección adicional para paramédicos, proporcionándoles tranquilidad”, dijo Scott Van Slyke, director de EMS del equipo de gestión de incidentes de Garfield.  “Nos ayuda a tomar precauciones adecuadas y preservar el EPP para proteger a la comunidad por más tiempo”.

Debido a la rápida transmisión de humano a humano y la posible propagación del coronavirus a través de gotitas microscópicas en el aire, el personal de primeros auxilios probablemente estén expuestos al COVID-19 en cualquier llamada que involucre a un paciente con síntomas específicos.  La ventaja de tener conocimiento sobre los síntomas exactos, la exposición y el riesgo que ha tenido un paciente dará a paramédicos y técnicos de emergencias médicas un mejor conocimiento de lo que pueden estar expuestos una vez en la escena.

Primeros auxilios deben clasificar a un paciente inmediatamente al llegar; ya se utilizan nuevas preguntas específicas de detección que hacen desde la llamada inicial al 911 para determinar cuáles son las necesidades de un paciente y el nivel de riesgo de COVID-19.  Anteriormente, los despachadores del 911 hacían ciertas preguntas a los que llamaban sobre su estado de salud, especialmente en caso de dificultades respiratorias.  Ahora, también incluyen preguntas sobre síntomas relacionados con COVID-19, que pueden incluir si ha tenido fiebre, tos o falta de aliento, y si ha estado en contacto directo con una persona con un caso de COVID-19 conocido.

Los despachadores siguen un protocolo cuando hablan con personas que llaman al 911, obtendrán nombre, número de teléfono, fecha de nacimiento e información sobre la sintomatología.  Ahora, a través de la aplicación Hippo Health, se transmitirá esa información por móvil a los equipos de ambulancia que responderán.  La condición y los síntomas del paciente también se transmitirán a la policía y a hospitales que recibirán a los pacientes.

“Lo valioso, es que alguien que tiene síntomas y llama al 911, pero quizá no necesite ir al hospital, podremos hablar con ellos a través de la aplicación para asesorarlos”, dijo el jefe Gary Tillotson de la estación de bomberos de Glenwood.  “También podemos ayudar a comunicarnos con el médico de esa persona y explicarle los síntomas”.

Tillotson recomienda que aquellos que experimentan síntomas llamen a su médico, particularmente si tienen problemas médicos preexistentes. Dice que empezar la conversación temprano, ayudará a determinar puntos de activación para la toma de decisiones cuando se necesite tratamiento.  Ese tipo de conversación ayudara a eliminar la necesidad llamar al 911.

Hippo Health puede ayudar a clasificar a pacientes si los hospitales se llenan y si hay menos opciones a dónde llevar a personas para tratamiento, ya que puede ayudar a influir la rapidez con la que una persona puede llegar para atención médica y a dónde deben dirigirse.

 “El Cuerpo de Bomberos CRFR acaba de impartir un entrenamiento a sus miembros sobre la nueva aplicación de telemedicina”, dijo Van Slyke, jefe de batallón con CRFR.

Hippo Health está disponible para descargar en tiendas de aplicaciones para dispositivos Apple y Android; y existe una plataforma web para personas que no tienen un teléfono inteligente.  El sitio web de Hippo Health afirma que fue fundado por médicos experimentados en emergencias que querían aliviar frustraciones de atención médica y simplificar la telesalud para médicos y pacientes.

No espere hasta que sea demasiado tarde

“Es importante que personas con serios problemas de salud crónicos como diabetes, hipertensión, enfermedades cardíacas y similares, no renuncien a su cuidado con sus médicos durante este tiempo de Covid-19″, dijo el Dr. Kevin Coleman, CMO, de Grand River Health.

“Estas son condiciones médicas que necesitan monitoreo constante. Puede hacer cita con su médico o hacer una cita virtual.  Casi todos los proveedores de atención medica en el valle tienen la capacidad de hacer una visita virtual o telemedicina.  No puedo enfatizar suficiente lo importante que es no retrasar o descuidar su salud de ninguna manera durante este tiempo”, agregó.

New app helps emergency medical responders reach you before they reach you

Sunrise Court Fire at the base of Four Mile

Update Aug. 29, 4:45 pm
PRESS RELEASE
Sunrise Court Fire declared 100% controlled

Glenwood Springs, Colo. – As of 3 p.m. on August 29 the perimeter of the Sunrise Court Fire has been reinforced and declared 100% controlled. All resources have been released except for one wildland engine and five Glenwood Springs firefighters.

Hot spots in the interior of the fire are anticipated and firefighters will continue to extinguish those as needed. The Glenwood Springs Fire Department will continue to patrol and monitor the fire over the next few days.

Prehm Ranch Road below the burn area will remained closed until further notice due to public safety concerns of falling rocks.

Update Aug. 29, 2:27 pm
PRESS RELEASE
Sunrise Court Fire  update

Glenwood Springs, Colo. – The Sunrise Court Fire burned 19.7 acres yesterday.  Several homes were threatened but none were lost. Cool temperatures through the night helped quiet the fire down. Containment was declared as of 7:00 a.m. Fire cause is unknown and currently under investigation by the Garfield County Fire Investigation Response Team.

Today, four wildland engines, a tender, and 27 fire fighters from Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire Department, and Roaring Fork Fire Rescue will be focusing their efforts on reinforcing the perimeter of the burn area. Incident Commander Doug Gerrald expects to have most resources off the fire by early evening, and will continue to monitor the fire through the night

Garfield County Sheriff officers are also on scene prohibiting public access in order to allow firefighting operations to continue. The public is asked to avoid the area.

Glenwood Springs Fire Department’s Facebook page will be updated with the latest information on the fire as updates occur. The public can also call 970-384-6436 for fire information. Media requests should be directed to 970-384-6436.

Sunrise Court Fire
click to view larger – courtesy of Glenwood Fire

Update – 7:31 pm
PRESS RELEASE
August 28, 2019

Glenwood Springs, Colo. – Around 2:40 p.m. on August 28, 2019, Glenwood Springs Fire Department was called for a report of a brush fire between Four Mile Ranch and County Road 163 (Prehem Ranch Road).

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke and flames moving quickly through the brush in the area. Firefighters on scene worked to protect homes as the flames approached. 45 firefighters and 17 fire apparatus from Glenwood Springs Fire Department and other fire agencies responded. A helicopter did bucket drops over the fire, with two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) each dropping two loads of retardant.

Residences on Sunrise Court and Red Cliff Road were evacuated, but are being allowed to return at 7:30 p.m. Only local residents will be allowed in the subdivision until the fire is out. Prehem Ranch Road is also closed to traffic, other than residents. The public is asked to avoid the area to allow firefighters room to work.

Fire officials expect some flare ups during the night. Firefighters will be patrolling the area overnight. A hand crew is expected to arrive tomorrow morning to work on the fire line.

As of 7 p.m., the fire is estimated at 15-20 acres. The Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control Multi-Mission Aircraft will be flying over the fire to determine the fire perimeter and accurate acreage. There have been no structures lost.

“Keeping the public safe and protecting homes is our number one priority. The residents in Four Mile Ranch subdivision evacuated quickly, allowing firefighters to access the fire sooner,” said Battalion Chief Doug Gerrald. “Glenwood Springs firefighters, along with our partners at other Roaring Fork Valley fire departments and law enforcement agencies, worked hard to prevent any injuries or loss of property at the Sunrise Court Fire.”

The cause of the fire is unknown, it will be investigated by the Garfield County Fire Investigation team, in conjunction with Glenwood Springs Fire Department.

Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Interagency Fire, Grand Valley Fire Department, Vail Fire Department, Eagle River Fire Department, Glenwood Springs Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, Garfield County Road and Bridge Department, Black Hills Energy and Holy Cross Electric also responded to this incident.

Glenwood Springs Fire Department’s Facebook page will be updated with the latest information on the fire as updates occur. The public can also call 970-384-6436 for fire information. Media requests should be directed to 970-384-6436.

Update – 7:13 pm – The evacuation order for homes on Sunrise Court and Red Cliff Road has been lifted. Only residents will be allowed in the subdivision. Residents are asked to watch for fire hose in the road and to avoid driving over it.

Update/correction – 5:00 pm – all of Four Mile Ranch is not under evacuation orders. Just residences on Sunrise Court and Red Cliff Road.

helicopter water drop sunrise court fire

Fire in Glenwood Springs near Sunset Court

Aug. 28, 2019 – 3:30 p.m. – Glenwood Springs Fire Department post: A wildland fire has broken out near Four Mile Ranch on the afternoon of August 28, 2019. The Four Mile Ranch subdivision and lower Four Mile houses are being evacuated. All evacuated residents should evacuate to the former Safeway parking lot at 2001 Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs.

As of 3:30 p.m., air tankers are in route from Grand Junction. Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Carbondale Fire Department, and local law enforcement agencies are all on scene.

The fire has been named the “Sunrise Court Fire.”

Aug. 28, 2019 – 3:26 p.m. – All of Four Mile Ranch is being evacuated to the old Safeway parking lot for the #SunriseCourtFire

Todo el Rancho Four Mile está siendo evacuado al antiguo estacionamiento de Safeway para #SunriseCourtFire

Aug. 28, 2019 – 3:10 p.m. – Residences on Sunrise Court and Red Cliff Circle need to evacuate to the old Safeway parking lot.

Las residencias en Sunrise Court y Red Cliff Circle están siendo evacuadas por el incendio del área de Four Mile. Por favor evacúe al viejo estacionamiento de Safeway.

Sunrise Court Fire at the base of Four Mile