The tradition continues.
When the Sisters of St. Francis envisioned a hospital in North Denver, they named it St. Anthony, the "Wonder Worker" of saints, known for restoring faith to the despairing. The Emergency Medical Services Department has strived over the years to help keep that vision alive.
With cooperation between multiple departments in the St. Anthony Hospital System, and with the support of the Colorado community, we started one of the first full service emergency medical systems in the United States. The three crucial elements were a state of the art Emergency Department with level-one trauma capabilities, the first civilian helicopter ambulance in the nation, Flight for Life® Colorado, and finally, a formal emergency medical training program that participated in and graduated the one of first national pilot EMT-Basic class.
This partnership succeeded in moving prehospital care from untrained ambulance drivers bringing untreated injured people to unprepared hospitals, to educated paramedics responding to emergency situations, performing life saving techniques then transporting the stabilized patients using their fully equipped ambulances, or Flight for Life when deemed necessary, to the awaiting trauma center.
In the early 1980s the need for paramedic continuing education and quality assurance became pronounced. Once again, St. Anthony recognized a need and responded. It was decided that emergency medical training would not be limited to the walls of the hospital, instead it would be taken where it would have the greatest impact, to the fire and ambulance stations. Starting with eighteen agencies in 1982, St. Anthony PreHospital Services now oversees the continuing education for over 50 response and dispatch agencies throughout the State of Colorado.
In 2011, we opened a new, state-of-the-art EMS education center in Lakewood, just across Union from St. Anthony Hospital, which offers:
- Increased classroom space with dedicated skill and simulation capability.
- State of the art video conferencing capability to provide synchronous video conferencing capabilities with our EMS partners.
- Two dedicated simulation labs with built in video conferencing and recording capabilities, as well as an isolated control room to allow for remote instructor oversight.
- Computer resources that allow the students access to online educational resources that are maintained by the school.
- Close proximity to the new St. Anthony Hospital for student clinical experience.
- Improved parking to which minimizes conflicts between students and hospital staff or patients.
Never limited by trends, St. Anthony PreHospital Services continues to have the freedom to develop innovative education that meets the growing needs of Colorado EMS, continuing our Franciscan Sister's Legacy.