The Western Regional EMS Council, otherwise known as the WRETAC, is the representative body for Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties. The mission of this RETAC is to promote, foster and support cooperative organization of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services in the Western Region and State, utilizing data, communications, protocols and training to provide Quality Improvement. The RETAC will be composed of individuals concerned with promoting, fostering and supporting excellence in emergency medical services within and between the counties represented.
The WRETAC emergency medical and trauma system consists of six Public Safety Answering Points which take 911 calls and requests for EMS and then dispatch 13 EMS agencies throughout the WRETAC. All except one of these are ALS capable. Additionally, in the WRETAC, is a privately-owned ambulance service that provides critical care transports. Recently a private company based a helicopter at Montrose Memorial Hospital.
The system also consists of various doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals that treat emergency and EMS patients. Also, two Level IV, one Level III and one Level V Trauma centers are located within the Region. Although St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction is outside the WRETAC, it is the regional resource center and the destination for most serious trauma patients, including most medical transports. St. Mary’s is a Level II trauma center.
The area the WRETAC serves encompasses 9,566 square miles, with a service area for EMS of more than 10,800 square miles. The area is as diverse in terrain as it is in population density. The population density ranges from an average of 0.7 persons per square mile in Hinsdale County to 24.4 persons per square mile in Delta County. The total population in the region, according to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Demography Section is about 108,000 people.
The WRETAC has a staff of 1.5 employees who work on projects at the direction of the Board President and other board members. These projects, which align with the 15 components of EMS, are done in conjunction with board members and committees.