DENVER -- In the new administrative offices of the Denver Health Paramedic Division at Sixth Avenue and Broadway, a bank of televisions hang above a U-shaped pod of desks.
One screen displays the calls ambulances are currently on; a second lists hospitals and the number of beds they have available. Josh Kennedy, a captain with the division and a 10-year veteran, gestures toward a third screen — one mapping traffic patterns throughout the city.
At midday, it shows mostly open routes. But in just a few hours, the streets on the map will turn red with backups. And that’s when the city’s paramedics will begin an increasingly complicated race: They will try to save lives while also navigating a gridlocked city.
“The frustration they see is more calls and more cars on the road,” Kennedy said later. “Some of their best routes are getting clogged.”
For Denver’s paramedics, congestion has emerged as one of their greatest enemies.