Emergency Corps and council at odds in Commerce

Commerce – The Commerce City Council and the Commerce Emergency Corps are at odds over a proposed change to how the city deals with medical emergencies. Currently, the Emergency Corps is contacted first if a medical 911 call is received. If there is no response within one minute, the fire department is sent out.

The council is discussing sending out the fire department as first responders.

Dick Walker, chief of the Commerce Emergency Corps, says the change is unnecessary and could signal the death of volunteerism in the corps over time. Mayor Sheryl Zelhart said the council just wants to provide the best possible emergency response for citizens of Commerce.

The Emergency Corps is an independent organization with 27 members. It contracts with the Hunt Memorial Hospital District to provide emergency medical care in Commerce and other parts of the county.