The Denver Health Paramedic Division has created several special operational teams to respond to unusual situations and demands on the EMS system. These special operational concentrations compliment the day-to-day operation of the Division, and extend our capability to respond to unusual challenges.
Because of its scenic mountain views, temperate climate, and central location, Denver is a premier destination for national—and international—conferences and events. From such historic events as the 1993 visit of Pope John Paul II, the 1997 G-8 summit, and the 2008 Democratic National Convention, to such routine events as Colorado Rockies home-games and Denver’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration; the Denver Paramedic Division is the region’s leader in planning for and responding to these unique challenges. All field personnel in the Paramedic Division receive special training in responding to Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, and Explosive (BNICE) emergencies. This training is conducted through the Rocky Mountain Center for Medical Response to Terrorism, Mass Casualties and Epidemics, located at Denver Health.
Denver’s ATMU was conceived ahead of the 1991 Denver Grand Prix. Because of the configuration of the track, a large and densely populated area of downtown Denver would be inaccessible to ambulances during the race. In order to provide medical response to this area, paramedics aboard specially outfitted bicycles were deployed. The team's success was immediate. A 911 call for chest pain was initiated from a high-rise inside the perimeter. The ATMU was dispatched, and arrived at the building in 1-2 minutes. The team was able to quickly initiate advanced care for the patient, who was found to be having a heart attack. The patient was then transported over a bridge by golf cart to a waiting ambulance outside the perimeter. Since then, the ATMU has expanded its role and capabilities. It is now deployed on an almost daily basis, anytime there are events that draw significant crowds. Each paramedic working with the ATMU is capable of working independently, and is equipped with an AED, oxygen, and a full complement of ALS supplies.