Mountain bike teams patrol area greenbelts and the Highline Canal Trail during warmer weather to assist local law enforcement agencies by providing information, emergency care, and general presence. In addition, ARP bike medics are on duty at special events such as parades, races, and fireworks shows. Bike team members are trained by Sheriff’s Office bike team instructors and have completed the National Police Mountain Bike Association (NPMBA) Police Cyclist course.
In between search missions members are busy – sometimes very busy – with in-town calls. A report of a major incident is monitored or sent out by page from dispatch. Members of the Fire Team are paged or called and respond to the scene. The Patrol has auto-aid agreements in place with Littleton Fire Rescue, South Metro Fire Rescue, and Englewood Fire Department.
On the scene of a structure fire, members control traffic, provide security around the fire equipment, and keep spectators back, change SCBA air bottles, supply equipment needed by the firefighters, and serve as support personnel. On many fires they handle hoses, assist with clean-up after the fire, and restore equipment to the apparatus.
In the case of a major accident, members respond and perform duties needed by fire/rescue and law enforcement personnel. They provide emergency medical care, support extrication operations, direct traffic, close streets and work to insure the safety of those on-scene. They remain at the scene until the investigation is finished and the vehicles are removed to open the road.
Members may sign up to ride with local law enforcement and fire agencies, and they assist on-duty personnel to the extent of their training.
Click here to see videos and photographs from a few of the fire calls we have been on in the recent past
A tedious, but important, Patrol function is providing security for law enforcement or fire agencies at the scene of a homicide or a major fire. After the primary response or after the fire is out, it often is some time before the investigation is completed. By providing security at the site the members enable the investigators to do a more effective job without tying up regular officers who may be needed elsewhere.
It is critical that the “chain of evidence” be preserved. Members set up a perimeter around the site and make sure no unauthorized personnel enter the area. They usually work out of the Arapahoe County Mobile Command Post or Patrol vehicles. Security work is done in shifts with no one leaving until their relief arrives. The work, generally, for 12 to 24 hours but can be for extended periods of time. For example, a fire south of Littleton required a security detail for over 12 days!
Because of the difficult weather and ground conditions not all members may be called for winter missions in the mountains. All members must be equipped to handle the cold and problems of search and rescue calls, but only those who have acquired the additional clothing gear and have had special training are called for extremely cold winter mountain operations.
The winter team is trained in avalanche rescue operations (many to the “Advanced Avalanche” level), winter technical systems, self arrest, Thompson Litter (toboggan) handling, and winter overnight survival.
The Rock Team provides high-angle and low-angle rescue services using technical rope techniques. Members are trained to either an Awareness, Support, or Technician level. Members at the Awareness lever are trained in basic knots, anchors, rappelling, ascending, and rope work. Support rescuers are trained to rig litter systems in both high- and low- angle systems (rock and vertical forest) using anchor systems, rigging, friction devices, belay systems, mechanical advantage, and raising and lowering systems. Technician level responders are trained in both litter-bearing rescue techniques for high-angle situations as well as in one-on-one pick off rescues using assisted rappel, lowering, raising, cut-away, and belay system techniques. Every member on the Patrol is trained as a low-angle litter bearer.
A young boy with Autism disappears from school. An elderly woman with Alzheimer’s wanders away from home in the bitter cold of a December night. A developmentally delayed man becomes separated from his caregiver in a crowd.
Arapahoe Rescue Patrol has partnered with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office to provide the services of Colorado Life Trak (COLT) to our area in order to proactively protect some of our most vulnerable residents. Through the program people with medical conditions that may cause them to wander, such as Alzheimer’s or Down’s Syndrome, are fitted with a special transmitter wristband that emits a tracking signal 24/7/365. This signal can be picked up over several miles. In the event that the person goes missing, the caregivers will notify the Sheriff’s Office. Specially-trained members of Arapahoe Rescue Patrol and Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office quickly respond to the call with tracking devices that receive the signal of the transmitter wristband, allowing the location of the missing person to be pinpointed.
COLT brings loved ones home fast and saves lives by reducing the time it takes to find an at-risk missing person to about 30 minutes as opposed to several hours or days. Members of Arapahoe Rescue Patrol and the Sheriff’s Office also forge bonds with clients of the COLT program and their families as they visit each client monthly to ensure that their equipment is working properly.
For additional infomation, click here for an informational brochure.
Families and caregivers interested in enrolling in the COLT program should contact the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office at (720) 874-4165.