Emergency Medical Services

Basic Life Support (BLS)

BLS services are provided by firefighters who are certified at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level. EMTs are instructed to handle a wide range of medical emergencies such as splinting, bandaging, extricating, and securing patients from auto accidents. EMTs can provide oxygen, Narcan, Epinephrine, and perform high quality CPR and defibrillation.

EMTs (Basic) are dispatched on all medical emergencies and are typically the first trained medical providers to arrive on scene. A majority of emergency medical incidents in Snohomish County Fire District 5 are run by EMTs trained at the BLS level.

Advanced EMT providers can provide additional medical care which Basic EMTs cannot. Approximately a one third of our department’s EMTs are certified to the Advanced EMT level. An EMT can provide additional medical care, such as starting IVs and can administer some medications.

Advanced Life Support (ALS)

Paramedics can interpret heart rhythms, intubate patients (insert an endotracheal tube to facilitate or restore breathing), and administer intravenous fluids and medications. In the Snohomish County EMS tiered response model, paramedics are dispatched along with EMTs to treat patients with critical injuries and illnesses.

Medical Program Management

Approximately 70% of the fire districts calls for service are EMS in nature. Washington State EMS is built with four certifications for providers and two levels of service. Basic Life Support (BLS) service is provided by Emergency Medical Responders (EMR), Basic Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT-B), Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT-A) and Advanced Life Support is provided by Paramedics (EMT-P or PARA).

Snohomish County Pre-Hospital care operates under EMS Tiered Response System. The district believes the first responder to an emergency incident is the bystander; a family member, coworker, friend or the first person to stop and assist the individual needing help. This citizen first responder provides care and activates the 911 system. The dispatcher will not only dispatch the appropriate EMS units but will give instructions to the “Bystander” assisting the patient.

The district encourages our residents to be trained in Basic First Aid and CPR as they are the true “First Responder” to the incident and in many cases the most important responder. Please consider taking a CPR and First Aid class.

Medical Program Directors

The medical program is governed by two physicians, with one at the county level, and the other at the fire district level. The County Medical Program Director, ensures that all agencies across the county provide emergency care to the same standard and protocols. The Fire District Medical Program Director provides oversight of the county level standards and protocols and provides the platform for the fire district to provide emergency medical services to the public across their service area.

Vacant, Snohomish County Medical Program Director
Brad Tally, MD, Fire District 5 Medical Program Director