Denver Health Paramedic Division Hosts EMS Guests from South Africa

June 13, 2024

Ride along 3 351x310

The Denver Paramedics are a model of hospital-based Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at Denver Health, an internationally recognized Level I Trauma Center with a reputation for high volumes and medical excellence.

The Paramedic Division and hospital regularly have individuals and organizations reach out to learn from our experience, to understand our system and to share best practices and strategies to navigate the challenges of prehospital medicine. Recently, we hosted a group of EMS professionals from South Africa, including physicians, a paramedic and a hospital administrator. In partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, this group are key collaborators within the CAPE-Colorado-Combat (C3) Global Trauma Network.

Denver Health Paramedic Ride Along

The C3 Global Trauma Network conducts research mostly in international settings, through clinical trial design, implementation science and patient-level outcome research to answer questions regarding optimal trauma care. Their recent work includes studies of trauma care, prehospital care and prolonged casualty care. They collaborate with ministries of health, EMS agencies, universities and health institutions in the Western Cape of South Africa, with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense.

South Africa faces staggering rates of interpersonal violence, and EMS providers are subject to significant personal risk and hazards operating in this environment. EMS in the U.S. and Denver deals with some of the same struggles while navigating challenges unique to our health care system. Collaborating with international experts and leaders allows for brainstorming, consideration of alternative perspectives forces us to challenge our assumptions and established practice to provide better, more efficient care.

Denver Health Paramedic Ride Along

During their visit, our colleagues toured the Denver 911 call center, paramedic operations in 601 Broadway, the Division garage, the Rita Bass Trauma and EMS Institute and the Denver Health Emergency Department – all of which showcase different aspects of our system.

The following day, our visitors offered a seminar at the Combat Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus that focused on EMS in South Africa and detailed the challenges and solutions they are navigating in emergency medicine.

One of the physicians and a paramedic were also able to do a ride-along with Lt. Alex Wilkinson of the Denver Health Paramedics to experience an average day in Denver and further learn about our system up close.

We would like to thank all the Denver Health and Paramedic Division employees who took the time to visit with our fellow emergency medicine and EMS providers. Visits like this are not only refreshing opportunities to meet new international friends, but they also allow us to support each other in our mission to serve our communities and patients.