EMS Response & Inter-facility Transports
Medical calls make up approximately 74% of what we do at EJFR. We are staffed 24 hours a day to provide a critical link in the “Chain of Survival” for sick or injured patients. The three staffed stations in EJFR’s district ensure that citizens receive quality emergency care within minutes of calling 911.
Fire Departments have provided EMS services since the Middle Ages. The symbol of the fire service, the Maltese Cross, originates from the Knights of Malta, who helped treat burn victims from battles during the Crusades.
Today this legacy continues as every firefighter at East Jefferson Fire Rescue is also certified as also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic. Our Paramedics bring the emergency room to you in a pre-hospital setting and can administer many drugs and medical tests to help treat your emergency before you get to the emergency room in the hospital. This time-saving is vital for treatment of trauma, cardiac and stroke care when every minute of intervention counts towards improving long- term outcomes.
If a patient needs more advanced care than Jefferson Healthcare can provide, our personnel transport patients to the best facility prescribed for the patient’s condition. It is not unusual for our department to initiate multiple transports to Seattle on a daily basis to a larger, more specialized hospitals like Harborview, Swedish or Virginia Mason.
Since March of 2019 we have designated a transport ambulance with advanced life support equipment specifically designed for long ground transports. EJFR hired three single-role paramedics and three single-role EMT’s to handle the daily transports out of the area. This inter-facility transport unit helps to ensure that adequate staffing remains in the district for local emergencies.
Some medical emergencies require the rapid transport that can only be provided by a helicopter flight. Our department sets up landing zones and fire protection for these landings at the hospital, airport and in field locations throughout our district depending on the location of the patient.
As a proud partner with the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center’s Medic One program, East Jefferson Fire Rescue benefits from the opportunity to send our paramedic students to one of the premier training programs in the U.S.
Founded in the late 1960’s, Medic One was the product of several Seattle visionaries, Gordon Vickery, Chief of the Seattle Fire Department, and Dr. Leonard A. Cobb, a University of Washington cardiologist. Initially focused on bringing advanced life support system to the homes of heart attack victims to improve their chances of survival, the Medic One program introduced the concept that non-physicians could provide high-quality care with remote physician guidance—and save lives.
Today, Medic One’s response system of 911, medical dispatch, basic life support, and paramedic advanced life support enjoys an international reputation for innovation and excellence in pre-hospital emergency care. This quality of care depends on the continuing collaboration of several resources, including Harborview Medical Center, the University of Washington, the Medic One Foundation and the enthusiastic participation by regional fire departments, including East Jefferson Fire Rescue.
The year-long, 2,500 hour Medic One training program is intense and thorough—most medic trainees have an average of 200 patient contacts before receiving their certification. The Medic One trainee has 800 patient contacts.
According to Dr. Michael K. Copass, the Medical Director of Seattle Medic One and Director of the Medic One Paramedic Training Program, the program is the model for much of the world. “We regularly host visitors from Australia, Poland, the UK, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Switzerland, France and many other countries.”
Dr. Copass says the goal of Medic One training is to take young EMT’s and teach them how to think like doctors in certain situations. “It’s like building an old Porsche, by hand. The Medic One Foundation allows for this finely crafted, handmade program. And the results speak for themselves.”
Medic One graduate Chief Gordon Pomeroy actively solicited EJFR’s participation in Medic One when he first came aboard. Today, EJFR has seven Medic One paramedic graduates on staff.
Although the majority of our operating expenses are financed through property tax revenue, EJFR also receives income from the transportation of patients, both to hospitals and between hospitals.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.
The HIPAA privacy rule precludes us from releasing the names of our patients—to the press, to inquiring parties, or to anyone else without the express written consent of the patient or their designated legal representative.