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New Community Resource Paramedic program

Submitted by on

I wanted to thank our community for supporting a new collaborative, cost-saving program, and report back on the progress we’ve made so far.

Three months ago, I began serving as the Community Resource Paramedic (CRP) for a program launched jointly by Snohomish County Fire District 7, Monroe Fire District 3 and Lake Stevens Fire. The aim of the CRP program is to connect patients in need to non-emergency medical or social services. Long-term, this will reduce calls to 911, lower healthcare costs for the community and improve patient care.

I’ve attended several events hosted by the fire districts, including the final Summer of Safety event for Fire District 7 where we provided blood pressure checks for seniors from Mill Creek and the surrounding areas and helped them create a Medical Information Form.

I’ve spent time building relationships with healthcare providers and first responders in the area, too. Before the program officially launched, I responded to five referrals – mostly cases of frequent 911 users. Now, our three fire districts have developed a joint database of patients who require follow up after an emergency call.

Because of the partnership, fire districts serving Mill Creek and the surrounding area, Monroe and Lake Stevens have been able to provide better service, cost-effectively to meet the changing needs of our communities. It reduces health care costs, as well.

It feels good to see what a difference we are making in the lives of the people we serve.

Scott Koch
Community Resource Paramedic
Fire Districts 7, 3 and 8

Fire Service entering the Medical Care field

What few realize is that the Fire Service is rapidly entering the medical care field. Over the last 30 years the number of fire calls has dropped rapidly and firefighters and the fire service is entering the medical care field through the EMT program.

The Kent Fire Department, which has a costly special benefit district, has hired 2 nurses as part of its equivalent of the Resource Paramedic Program. Fire District 1 has recently hired a "fall specialist" as part of its expanding program. Hayward California is building a new combined fire station and medical clinic and 3 of its fire fighter/EMT's will be cross trained as medical assistants.

Discussions with various FD 7 personnel and board members indicates that hospitals, which will benefit greatly from this program, are not currently contributing to the cost of this new program.

These programs currently, for the most part, are being funded by grants and public partnerships meaning the taxpayer is on the hook for part of the cost. If this continues and is not stopped they will expect the taxpayer to pickup the full cost. All part of the mission creep for the fire service.

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