Letter: Ray, Audrey Jennings have greatly improved county’s emergency services
While I am aware there has been no shortage of accolades from many different sources for the job he’s done, I want to add my thoughts about Grand County EMS Chief Ray Jennings’ retirement.
It has been a pleasure to work with Ray and Audrey Jennings of Grand County Emergency Medical Services, and I wish them well in their future endeavors. They have been a huge asset to our community and will be sorely missed.
When I first came to grand County as a young(ish) doc in 1994, I was surprised at the county’s level of emergency services. While the crews were dedicated and eager to learn, the type of skills and professionalism prevalent then was nothing like it is today, and that is a direct result of all Ray and Audrey have done in the last 15 years.
They have always been open to communication with our facility (first 7 Mile Clinic, then Centura, and now Winter Park Denver Health Medical Center) and have been dedicated to working collaboratively and constructively throughout. There is really no way I can emphasize enough how far the service has come since Ray has been in charge.
While the level of service our county’s medical community has been able to provide has steadily improved since I’ve been here, there are still times when the best outcome for an extremely injured or ill patient is dependent upon skilled transport to Denver. EMS can make all the difference and my confidence and trust in our crews has grown steadily throughout the years.
I’m aware how challenging it can be to hire and retain EMS employees in a rural environment, and the high school EMT course idea was brilliant. Arming our local high school seniors with those skills and hiring some of them is win-win for our community.
Ray and Audrey, I will miss working with you. I’m not sure where you’re headed from here, but please know that you have nothing but admiration and respect from our staff. Thanks for everything you’ve done for us and our county.
— Rick Bortz, MD
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