EMTS System development

EMTS consultative visits

The department provides technical assistance and support to local governments, emergency medical and trauma services providers and Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Advisory Councils (RETACs).

Upon request, the department can provide independent expert analysis of local EMS and trauma systems. Requesting entities may include: boards of county commissioners, governing boards for local emergency medical and trauma service organizations and RETACs.

To date, the department has performed consultative visits in the following counties:


Las Animas County Moffat County
San Luis Valley Custer County
Logan County Ouray County
Kit Carson County Montrose County
Dolores County Chaffee County
Fremont County Kiowa County
Jackson County  Baca County
Washington County Clear Creek County
Phillips County Lake County
Cheyenne County  


EMS system components 

A consultative visit offers a comprehensive analysis to assist local decision-makers to determine how services are delivered in their community. These visits use outside perspective to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current EMS and trauma services system.

The consultative visit is based on the 14 components of an EMS system established in 1996 by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in the "EMS Agenda for the Future" plus an additional component included specifically by Colorado. This is the same model used by each Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (RETAC) to create the biennial plan and include:

Legislation and regulation Public access
EMS research Information systems
System finance Public education
Human resources Prevention
Medical direction Evaluation
Clinical care Integration of health services
Education system Mass casualty response*

*Additional attribute added specifically for Colorado


How to set up a consultative visit

The department encourages local emergency medical and trauma services system stakeholders to develop consensus support from agencies and organizations involved in the system before requesting the consultative visit. Communities are encouraged to work with their RETAC coordinator to submit a funding application that includes letters of support from the Board of County Commissioners, county EMTS council, if applicable, and local EMS and trauma provider organizations.

Costs and time

A typical consultative visit costs between $18,000 and $25,000, including time, travel and production expenses. Based on the number of EMS and trauma stakeholders and the overall size of the consulting team, a consultative visit requires about 40 to 60 hours of time per team member. Funding for these visits is available through the EMTS system improvement funding program in the technical assistance category. The program is open for applications from December 15 to February 15 each year.

What happens during a consultative visit?

The department works collaboratively with the local RETAC and the local emergency medical and trauma services agencies to coordinate the visit. A typical consultation includes:​

  • Local stakeholders agree to actively participate in the consultative review process by completing a pre-visit survey, providing requested documents and information, participating in interviews with the consultative visit team and attending the session for presentation of the final report.
  • The department works with the coordinating agency to jointly select a team of about five subject matter experts and create the written agreements necessary to perform the consultative visit. The coordinating agency is also responsible for maintaining financial records, filing reimbursement requests, scheduling and other administrative tasks.
  • The consultative review team usually spends three to five days on-site interviewing emergency medical and trauma services system stakeholders. The team also reviews relevant data and collaborates on a written report.
  • The consultative visit team findings are published in a final report. The team returns to present the report and recommendations about 90 days after the on-site visit. This report can then be used by the local stakeholders as a basis for future policy decisions about the emergency medical and trauma services system.