More than 85 percent of all emergency calls for South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue are for emergency medical service (EMS). The newly-created fire authority invites the public to an EMS Week Open House to learn about these life-saving services on Saturday, May 19, 2018, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Lynnwood Civic Center Fire Station, 18800 44th Avenue W.
Open house activities include a teddy bear clinic where children can bring in stuffed animals to receive EMS care from firefighters, medic unit and fire engine tours, first aid training and information on safe and healthy aging.
South County Fire’s EMS program has received awards from the Journal of Emergency Medical Services and Congressional Fire Services Institute for the innovative care it provides. Its save rate for cardiac incidents is three times that of the national average.
EMS is funded by a levy paid through property taxes. Currently, Lynnwood and Fire District 1 have two separate EMS levies paid to South County Fire.
The fire authority is asking voters to replace those two levies during the August Primary Election with a single EMS levy. The rate would be capped at 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the same rate previously approved by voters in both jurisdictions.
Emergency call volumes have increased 34 percent in the last five years for homes and businesses in South County Fire. More calls mean added costs for personnel, apparatus, maintenance, medical supplies and equipment.
Funding also will be used to purchase and staff another ambulance to respond during peak call times. Renewing an EMS levy of 50 cents will maintain emergency service levels and continue both basic and advanced life support – the highest standard of care – for fire authority residents.