Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District (UPRAD) has demonstrated over a forty year commitment of caring for our community. Initially it was called Ute Pass Ambulance Service, which was established by a local druggist. The Service, along with a group of dedicated volunteers, served an area from Cascade to the summit of Wilkerson Pass and as far north as Deckers and beyond. Later, the City of Woodland Park took over this function and established Woodland Park Ambulance Service (WPAS).
In 1982, the city divested itself of the ambulance service and fire department. Thereafter, WPAS was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit business and has continued to provide superior emergency medical care and transportation ever since. It began construction on the current location in Woodland Park in 1986.
Initially, as an all-volunteer staff, WPAS members responded day and night, rain or shine, to as many calls for help as possible. As time passed and demands for services increased, call volume proved challenging for this all volunteer staff. There were long response times, missed calls, and the consistent availability of advanced life support (paramedic) level of care was unpredictable.
WPAS responded to that need. In 1995, they hired their first fulltime crew. By the end of that summer, they were employing 3 EMT-Intermediates and 3 EMT-Basics working 24 hour shifts. Volunteers were replaced by part-time personnel. Within 2 years, the service became full-time paramedic level and the staff became larger. However, because of a steadily increasing call volume and a decrease in insurance and Medicare reimbursements, the WPAS Board of Directors decided that it was time to ask the public to approve the service becoming a District.
In 2004, WPAS became Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District (UPRAD); and in 2005, District members voted to fund it with a 3.99 mill levy. They have updated their response fleet, upgraded patient evaluation and monitoring equipment, and added several new and aggressive treatment protocols which improved upon the patient care their medics provide. They now have full-time paramedics, full-time EMTs, and part-time EMTs and paramedics. Today, UPRAD provides care for area residents and visitors that is unsurpassed by any other ambulance service in the area, and few in the country.
In November of 2006, UPRAD broke ground on its new station to be located in Florissant. It is built next to the Florissant Fire Station with easy access to Highway 24. It allows us a more timely response to the west side of our district that extends all the way to the top of Wilkerson Pass. We currently have full crews at the station 24 hours a day and seven days a week with a paramedic and an EMT.