Located in the far southeastern corner of the state of Colorado, Baca County shares its eastern border with Kansas and its southern border with Oklahoma. This region is made up of primarily flat farm and ranch country with some rolling hills. On the southern and western edges of the county, the terrain is carved by deep canyons. Baca County boasts a variety of unique landscapes and sources of recreation for both the locals as well as visitors from all over. Two Buttes Reservoir in northern Baca County has recently been revitalized and has quickly become a popular site for all kinds of water recreation. The beautiful canyons in parts of the county (Picture Canyon, Carrizo Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon, and others) are favored for hiking, climbing, and locally well-known swimming holes and caves (Crack Cave). Avid birders and hunters travel in to see the disappearing Lesser Prairie Chickens or hunt a variety of big and small game. Additionally, the Comanche National Grasslands cover a portion of southern Baca County.
Two major highway systems run directly through the county. US Highway 160 routes traffic east and west between Kansas and Interstate 25 at Trinidad. US Highway 287, running north and south, is referred to as the Ports to Plains Travel Corridor because of the tremendously high amount of commercial traffic between Mexico and Canada. Locally, it is a major route of travel between Interstate 70 near Limon, CO and Texas. The county seat, Springfield, is located at the intersection of these two main highways and hosts the county’s only hospital, Southeast Colorado Hospital.
Southeast Colorado Hospital (SECH) Ambulance Service, based in Springfield, provides basic and advanced life support coverage for the western two thirds of Baca County, an area of approximately 1,900 square miles. This includes the towns of Springfield, Pritchett, and Campo as well as Two Buttes Reservoir. SECH Ambulance Service also periodically helps to provide coverage to the edges of several neighboring counties – Prowers County to the north, Las Animas County to the west and Bent County to the northwest. Due to distance from any service to the northeast corner of New Mexico, SECH Ambulance Service considers this area an extension of our response zone as well. At times, our service has also been requested to assist Cimarron County in Oklahoma. In addition, we provide ambulance service to the labor force at the nearby wind farms located approximately 30 miles north of Springfield. The most distant parts of our emergency response area are approximately 75 miles from Southeast Colorado Hospital in Springfield. On occasion, Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service takes over ALS coverage for all of Baca County and/or the eastern edge of Las Animas County when the ALS providers from the other nearby services, Walsh Ambulance Service and Kim Ambulance, are unavailable. This includes the towns of Walsh, Vilas, Two Buttes, and Kim and increases the coverage area and sometimes the distance to the nearest hospital tremendously.
Click here for a map of our response area.
SECH Ambulance Service regularly serves a population of about 2,800 people. With an average of only 1.8 persons per square mile, Baca County is classified as a frontier county. According to the US Census Bureau, the population in Baca County is 25.4% over the age of 65, and 19.6% under the age of 18 with a total population decline of an estimated 15% from 2000-2008.