After busy wildfire season, a Colorado ambulance company hopes to help firefighters with new team

Posted at 2:54 PM, Apr 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 09:15:20-04

DENVER -- In 2020, crews faced the largest wildfires in Colorado's history, and this year, state officials say they're gearing up for another busy season.

It's why a Colorado ambulance company decided to add a team specifically meant to rescue or help wildland firefighters.

Ebin Latrimurti is the president and owner of EMS Unlimited.

This year he's starting up a rapid extraction module team, or REM for short.

"What we saw last year through the multiple requests for different services of medical needs at wildfires was also the request of this service, what's called a REM team," he said.

This kind of team is typically tasked with going into rugged terrain in the midst of a wildfire to rescue firefighters.

"Accessing them and getting them to a transport vehicle is difficult and delayed," Latrimurti said.

Latrimurti's REM team currently has 20 paramedics on it. When sent out for rescues, only four will deploy at a time.

The team is equipped with off-road vehicles as well as all the life-saving supplies they may need during a call.

"All the advanced cardiac life support medications, intravenous fluids, trauma supplies, diagnostic equipment, in addition to that we also carry a huge amount of ropes and pulleys and things that you would assume are a part of any rescue team," he said.

In order for a team to be deployed, it does have to be requested for help from the incident management team handling a wildfire.

"Having this team allows them a whole other modality, another medium to deliver care and treatment that is very necessary and very needed," Latrimurti said.

Although he says he and his team are ready for whatever 2021 throws them in terms of wildfires, he's hopeful this year won't be anything like the last.