Emergency Medical Services in the desert can be a difficult calling, but Wendover Ambulance is one of those unique agencies that can make things work. Situated on the state line 125 miles west of Salt Lake City, Wendover Ambulance provides EMS services for a population of 7,500 residents in 900 square miles of Nevada and Utah. This population can double on weekdays and triple on weekends with tourists and gamblers from Utah.
Wendover is an intermediate EMT service that handles about 1,000 calls a year. The organization is one of only a few private ambulance services, has five ambulances in their fleet with two vehicles on duty at any given time. Crews of three EMT's are staffed from a pool of 40 part-timers, some who come from Salt Lake City, and four full-time employees.
Calls can range from heart attacks in a local casino to major traffic accidents on remote sections of I-80 in the West Desert or a crash on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Being isolated from medical support, Wendover EMT's have become very skilled in patient assessment, IV's, supportive care during long transports, arrhythmia identification and patient stabilization. They have developed the concept of "rendezvous" to a science, meeting Life Flight teams along I-80 to transfer their patient to a helicopter for rapid transport to Salt Lake City. They demonstrate exceptional skills in landing helicopters at night when the flight crews are using night vision goggles, and safety is always a priority.
Wendover Ambulance is heavily involved in community affairs and outreach education programs, sponsoring EMT courses, and annual EMS activities, provides first aid and CPR training, "What to do until the Ambulance Arrives" classes, child safety programs and special community events.
Life Flight works closely with the training officer to provide quarterly inservice training and flight critiques. This year Wendover Ambulance had some of their EMT's graduate from Weber State University's Paramedic Program in Ogden Utah.
- Laura Snyder - Owner
- Jim Zimmerman - Training Officer