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.
All District 5 firefighters (Full-time, Part-time, and Volunteer) are EMTs. We do have a few part-time or volunteers that are certified EMTs but do not have a firefighter certification. Basic EMTs 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 are run by EMTs trained at the BLS level.
Advanced EMT (EMT-A) 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-A can provide additional medical care, such as starting IVs and are able to administer some medications.
Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Our neighboring fire districts provide ALS service to Fire District 5. 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.