Hanging Lake Emergency Calls Stretching Resources Thin

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) –¬†Hanging Lake might be a victim of its own popularity.

In going to the trail right off Interstate 70, you’re not supposed to go off the trail or get into the lake, but many people ignore the signs, and it’s putting a strain on first responders.

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(credit: CBS)

Emergency personnel received 16 calls for help last year. So far this year: six. And it’s stretching resources thin.

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Gary Tillotson (credit: CBS)

“The effect that it’s having on us is when we go out there to treat, transport a person down off of that trail, it takes as much as half of my daily staffing for up to four hours to accomplish that,” said Gary Tillotson, the Glenwood Springs fire chief.

And that means fewer firefighters left protecting the city.

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(credit: CBS)

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(credit: CBS)

“I believe there are a large portion of those folks that really don’t know what kind of hike they are in for,” Tillotson said.”

But, for now, until something can be worked out with the U.S. Forest Service, the fire department will continue to respond to the calls.

A Forest Service plan is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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