Troopers Say They Can't Step In As EMTs, But Are Monitoring Loss Of Ambulance Service

Expect Delayed Medical Response After Ambulance Service Ends On Copper Valley Highways  Local Copper Valley Troopers will not be acting as E...

Expect Delayed Medical Response After Ambulance Service Ends On Copper Valley Highways 

Local Copper Valley Troopers will not be acting as EMTs after ambulance service to the valley breaks down at the end of June.  Troopers are not EMTs, the Department of Public Safety told the Journal in response to a query about Trooper responsibilities after ambulances stop running in a month. 

In response to a May 17th letter from the Copper River Country Journal, asking what Troopers might be able to do, medically, at the site of an accident – including one with major trauma or death – the Department of Public Safety sent an email on what we can expect.

The Department says it's monitoring the problem, and that Troopers are trained in first aid, but not in the type of care that EMTs and paramedics are trained for, the Department said. 

Troopers will work with Medevacs, but we can expect a delayed response, they said. 

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

Austin McDaniel, who is the Communications Director of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, wrote to the Journal on Wednesday, May 22nd about Trooper responsibilities. 

He said: 

DPS is closely monitoring the potential disruption to ambulance service in the Copper Valley area. State Troopers are trained in law enforcement first aid and do not have training in advanced emergency medical care that EMTs and paramedics receive. VPSOs receive Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) training. 


Ambulance service is typically provided by local governments at the city or borough level, and not from the state of Alaska. 

If there is not a standard EMS service available Troopers will work with medevac companies to respond to a medical emergency. This will certainly result in a delayed response until those resources can respond from another community. 

The Alaska State Troopers work in both communities with organized ambulance services and communities without any form of ambulance service and will continue to carry out our mission of ensuring public safety.

In around a month, at the end of June, 2024, ambulance service will end when Delta Medical Transport's contract expires. In the meantime, the Copper River EMS program is researching possible ways of finding half a million dollars to proceed forward for the next year. 

Copper River EMS initially said they would not be holding public meetings, but then did speak at the Greater Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Princess Hotel earlier this week. Yesterday, they announced they would be holding training programs for volunteers and interested community members.

Photo: Alaska State Troopers 


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