Emergency crews forced to wait for guard to arrive at Dam Road gate
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Ambulance crews trying to get past the new roadblocks on Dillon Dam Road for an emergency on Friday morning got an answering machine when they called Denver Water’s security office to unlock the Dillon gate.
“We stopped at the gate and called the guard to unlock it, like we have been instructed to do, and the call went to voice mail,” said Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Brandon Williams.
Just a day after staging a demonstration of how the new roadblocks would hinder access, the crews were called to help a woman injured in a bike wreck on the recreation path near the dam’s Glory Hole.
The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, had suffered a head injury. Her condition was not disclosed.
Normal procedures require that both fire and ambulance crews respond to emergencies, but since fire trucks are too large to fit through the barriers, firefighters were forced to ride in the back of an ambulance to get to the woman.
“Clearly this doesn’t work if a firefighter has to ride in the back of an ambulance to get to an emergency scene,” Williams said.
Ambulances from both Frisco and Dillon were dispatched to the scene, and both crews were forced to wait at either Dam Road entrance for a guard to arrive and unlock the gates.
Crews from Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue practiced negotiating the roadblocks on Thursday, discovering that the new barriers put added an extra five minutes to a route frequently traveled by emergency vehicles.
“It is our understanding that Thursday’s tests were satisfactory,” Denver Water spokesperson Stacy Chesney said. “We want this to work well, so whatever we should be doing that we’re not we need to know about it.”
County emergency responders continue to express concerns regarding access to the Dam Road as Denver Water develops a new access plan.
“When I talked to Denver Water, they assured me that they are continuing to work on a plan for better access,” Summit County ambulance director Sean Caffrey. “But it all seems up in the air at this point.”
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