Emergency Medical Services
Camano Island Fire and Rescue Emergency Services are tops.
The new recruits serving as medics on Camano Island have been through emergency boot camp: Harborview Medical Center’s Emergency Room.
There, in the region’s busiest trauma center, each recruit responds to at least 3,000 emergencies. Those thousands of calls prepare them to serve with other veterans. Camano Island Fire and Rescue (CIFR) Medical Services Officer Ken Drewry cites many examples of crew members who served in high-volume areas such as Portland and Seattle. Drewry himself worked for years in Yakima, responding to a high volume of acute emergencies.
It’s all been important training, since Camano Island logs over a thousand EMS calls per year.
CIFR is an unusual department that incorporates the protocols of two counties into its operations. Dr. Paul Zaveruha, the Medical Program Director at Island County, works closely with Dr. Eric Cooper, Snohomish County’s Medical Program Director. This close relationship helps the CIFR team to follow the procedures and protocols of Snohomish County, whose hospitals they work in.
In some cases, though, an Island County choice of procedure may not yet be adopted in Snohomish County. But CIFR and Dr. Zaveruha continue to move forward with the latest in life saving care. For instance, a new procedure for a heart attack (or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction – “STEMI”) is in place at CIFR.
The new STEMI procedure is a state-wide protocol with new medications and a different interaction with the hospital. Camano Island has chosen to use this procedure, confident it’s the best method for saving lives available to its professional medics.
The department is continually updating its procedures and continuing training. The recruits who have trained at Harborview are among the first to bring new methods and ideas to the team. For example, a new tourniquet, driven by the military, takes a fraction of the time that the old system needed to assemble, saving valuable time.
CIFR medics also receive the latest training through Paramedic Continuing Education Program.