Gilpin County was founded in 1861 after the discovery of gold in 1859 brought thousands to the area in search of fortune. The second smallest county in Colorado, Gilpin’s fame was short lived, becoming a rural mountain community at the conclusion of the gold rush. In 1991 the county became one of two gaming districts in Colorado and enjoyed a resonance of economic development and capital investment. Today Gilpin is home to only 5,500 residents but hosts thousands of visitors on a daily basis in its many casinos. In addition to gaming and residential populations, Gilpin also offers the Golden Gate State Park and two national forests.
During the late 60’s, after several high profile incidents, the Gilpin community came together and created Gilpin County Search and Rescue. Through the early 90’s GCS&R operated as a small volunteer agency. When the county established two gaming districts, Gilpin Ambulance Inc. developed into a paid EMS system with 24-hour staffing. The private model was abandoned in 2009 in favor of a governmental authority. Today Gilpin Ambulance Authority is the sole EMS and healthcare provider in Gilpin County. Responding to nearly 2000 calls for service each year and transporting 800 patients with three 24-hour ALS ambulances and 21 full time employees.
Gilpin Ambulance Authority is joined by three fire departments and five law enforcement agencies in providing emergency services in Gilpin County. With calls ranging from the urban casino environment to the continental divide, our paramedics must be capable and nimble in their response. We have specialized training and programs that allow us to provide advanced life support, backcountry search and rescue, wild land firefighting medical support and ropes rescue. We not only provide emergency medical care but also administer health programs for the elderly and infirm in our community. Our paramedics teach CPR and first aid, install medical alert devices at no charge, and perform safety and evacuation assistance to those in need. With a wonderful group of professionals we thoroughly enjoy our role in emergency services in colorful Gilpin County, Colorado.