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Press Releases:

For Immediate Release March 17, 2005


At the request of Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Working Group has been meeting on a regular basis to plan for the future of emergency medical service delivery in Whatcom County.


After looking at multiple service options, and the associated costs, the working group is united in their support of a countywide emergency medical service system as the best and most cost effective method to provide EMS service for the people of Whatcom County.


The working group's recommendation to the County Executive and Council, the cities and fire districts is a plan that will:

  • Maintain a high quality unified emergency medical service system
  • Utilize existing paramedic and other EMS provider personnel
  • Implement planned expansion for future basic and advanced life support transport through fire districts and fire departments
  • Maintain existing County and City of Bellingham general fund contributions to emergency medical services
  • Build on existing fire and rescue capacity and other private and community resources located in fire districts and all cities of Whatcom County
  • Expand communications and accountability throughout the emergency medical services community


The EMS Working Group is made up of Fire District Commissioners and Chiefs, representatives from cities, private ambulance, the medical community and the County Executive's office.


At this time, while final plan details are not complete, the County Executive and EMS Working Group will be presenting to the Bellingham City Council a proposal to continue all medic units in their current locations.   This recommendation involves using funds from the current EMS reserves of the Medic One program to cover the projected 2005 operation.


Executive Kremen stated, I am pleased with the collaboration and realistic recommendations of the EMS Working Group.    They are based upon the most cost effective methods of meeting the emergency medical service needs of this community.  


Next steps for the working group include:

  • Finalizing the EMS Action Plan
  • Outlining future Agreements for County, cities, and fire districts necessary to implement the plan
  • Crafting resolutions in support of the Plan for review and approval by the County, cities, and fire districts
  • Assisting in reconstituting the Emergency Medical and Ambulance Advisory Board
  • Assisting in implementing recommended communication objectives


Contact Person:             Executive Pete Kremen                       676-6717