By Heather Chadwick, Snohomish County Fire District 7 Public Information & Education Officer.
Medical emergencies accounted for 81% of all calls in 2015.
Snohomish County Fire District 7 is joining fire agencies across the country to celebrate Emergency Medical Service Week, May 15th to 21st, 2016.
The event seeks to bring awareness to the important role EMS programs and first responders play in saving lives in their communities.
“Fire District 7 appreciates the public support for such a valuable program,” said Fire Chief Gary Meek. “There is no doubt that EMS saves lives.”
EMS is the most widely-used emergency service that Fire District 7 provides. In 2015, fire district personnel responded to just under 6,000 emergency calls, 81 percent of which were EMS-related.
Just recently, Fire District 7 was dispatched to the home of a person who had collapsed and was unconscious. Paramedics and emergency medical technicians quickly recognized the signs of a heart attack and administered Advanced Life Support care on scene. They stabilized and transported the patient to an area hospital, and the individual has recovered.
Medical emergencies don’t always have to be traumatic events, however. In 2015, emergency personnel with Fire District 7 participated in three live births when the expectant mothers couldn’t get to the hospital in time.
The demand for emergency services often outpaces the revenue received to provide it. State law limits a fire district’s annual budget increase to one percent per year, and the voter-approved levy rate for fire and EMS declines over time. That’s why fire agencies regularly ask voters to restore funding through “lid lifts,” which is a tool to keep up with rising costs to provide service.
In 2010, voters approved an EMS levy for 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Over time, that amount has fallen to 44 cents per $1,000.
Fire District 7 is asking voters to restore funding for the EMS program through a 6-cent lid lift during the August 2nd Primary Election.
The lid lift would cost the average homeowner in Fire District 7 an additional $21 per year to maintain emergency service levels.
Levy funds are used for emergency personnel, training and certifications, ambulances, maintenance, medical equipment, first aid supplies, and equipment replacement. More information about the EMS levy lid lift can be found on Fire District 7’s web site at www.firedistrict7.com.
Snohomish County Fire District 7 provides fire and life safety services to 77,000 people over 55 square miles, including the City of Mill Creek.
In 2015 emergency personnel responded to just under 6,000 emergency calls, 81% of which were for Emergency Medical Service (EMS).
Fire District 7 has built the most advanced emergency response system in Snohomish County because of its highly-trained personnel, facilities, apparatus, and rescue programs.
Learn more about Fire District 7 by visiting www.firedistrict7.com or find them on Facebook @firedistrict7.