UNHS celebrates 50 years of EMS during EMS Week

The Utah Navajo Health System EMS program was started on December 9, 2013 with one 911 Ambulance and one Interfacility Ambulance in Montezuma Creek, and one ambulance in Monument Valley. In the past two-and-a-half years EMT’s from UNHS EMS have responded to 820 dispatched calls throughout the south portion of San Juan County and the Utah portion of the Navajo Reservation. According Dustin Coggeshell, UNHS EMS Director, the top five types of calls UNHS EMT’s respond to are: breathing problems, falls, assaults, sick persons and traffic/transportation incidents. He also reported the top incident scene locations are: Home/residences, health care facilities (Interfacility transfers), public buildings and streets or highways.

The age groups responded to most often are: First group: 20 to 29 years, Second group: 10 to 19 years, third group: 40 to 49 years.  Males are rated the highest in number of calls over females, but females were not too far behind.

Since December 2013, UNHS EMS has increased the number of ambulances at the Montezuma Creek  location. Last year UNHS completed construction on a new EMS Garage/Office facility in Montezuma Creek to house three ambulances and the EMS staff. It includes training offices, storage for EMS equipment and materials, and EMS administrative offices. In addition, an ambulance garage was remodeled for use in Monument Valley in 2014.

UNHS EMS staffing has increased in numbers. Currently, the staff includes:

1- EMS Director,

1- Training Officer

4 – Instructors

1 – Medical Director

2 – Paramedics

6 – Advance EMT’s

15 – EMT’s

4 – Ambulance drivers

UNHS EMS is a licensed ambulance provider at the Advance EMT level. This allows UNHS EMS to practice at advance life support levels in Montezuma Creek for its 911 and interfacility ambulances. The Monument Valley ambulance is licensed at a basic life support level  with a new increase of staffing coming.

A recent national registry EMT course in Monument Valley had seven total students recommended for national registry certification. All seven students have passed their national registry practical testing, and soon will take their written exams.

“We’re excited for the increase in EMS staffing in the Monument Valley area,” Coggeshell said.

Coggeshell said he’s proud of the work the entire UNHS EMS team has done over the past three years and he’s confident they will only continue to grow the EMS program in the future. As part of EMS week, UNHS had a number of activities planned. Some involved the community, others were for the EMS staff only.

Coggeshell also thanks the community as whole for their support of the EMS program. EMS staff spend many hours serving the community as EMT’s, and also being involved with community activities as their way of giving back to the community.

Congratulations to the entire UNHS EMS Team celebrating the 50th Anniversary of EMS WEEK!



In the EMS photos on this page and on page 14, the entire EMS staff is pictured with the exception of the following individuals, who were not available for the photo:

Ray Whaley, Harold Todachinnie, Sarah Kay, Tommy Yazzie and Sarah Fatt.

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