Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
September, 2009
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This Month's Articles

Medic One Celebrates a Birthday!

County Prepares 2010 Budget.

Treatment Sales Tax Proceeds Go Into Effect.

Preparing for a Pandemic.

A New Program Assists Veterans in the Thurston County Jail.

National Flood Insurance Program.

Take a Look at Your Carbon Footprint!

The New Three Rís: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Widows and Young Ladies Welcome!

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 Medic One Celebrates a Birthday!

Groundbreaking program looks back over more than three decades.

Their mission is to- "Provide efficient and effective pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) throughout Thurston County.Ē And for 35 years, Thurston County Medic One has been doing just that.

Thurston County Medic One was started in 1974 and at the time, was the first county-wide, dual role, Fire/EMS response system in the nation. The late Dr. Rodney Brown of Saint Peter Hospital, along with many other concerned professionals, was a strong proponent of the program, which was modeled after a similar one in Seattle.

When Medic One started, there were only 12 paramedics. Currently, there are nearly 55 paramedics. In addition to the paramedics there are 450 dual role Fire/EMS personnel who cover the 740 square miles of the county and a population in excess of 245,000. More than half of the responders are volunteers whose service helps to improve response times and hold costs down. All responders are required to take extensive training and must constantly update their education in order to remain qualified for service.

Over the history of the program, Medic One personnel have responded to more than 457,000 calls for service. In 2008, there were more than 24,000 basic life support calls. Of those, more than 10,000 were serious enough to require a paramedic Medic One response including responses for 189 patients whose hearts had stopped beating. Medic One Director Steve Romines says the numbers tell an important story but its more about people than it is statistics. ďTo us, these numbers arenít just some abstract numeric value, they are our patients. They are grandparents, parents and children. Thurston County Medic One transports anyone suffering a life-threatening emergency to a local hospital, without a fee.Ē

When someone suffers a life threatening emergency and a call is placed to 9-1-1 Dispatch, the closest fire service basic life support unit and a Medic One unit will be dispatched. If needed, the patient would then be transported to the nearest appropriate medical facility. The average response time by one of the countyís seven Medic Units is 11.7 minutes. Fire/EMS units typically arrive in about 7 minutes.

There is no cost for Medic One services because the system is supported by voter-approved property taxes. Romines says, ďWe donít want people to worry about a fee while they are deciding whether to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Itís most important to make the call and trained professionals can then decide the correct response.Ē

Congratulations to Medic One on the 35th anniversary of service. Nearly a half-million calls for assistance later, itís nice to know that reliable emergency medical response is as close as the nearest phone.

In the first photo, starting from the left: Annalee Drewry, Basic Life Support Training Coordinator; Cindy Hambly, Training/Quality Improvement Manager; Steve Romines, Director; Pete Suver, Advanced Life Support Manager; Alan Provencher, Purchasing/CPR Coordinator; and Sheri Davis, Office Manager

By John Tennis

The Medic One staff. The Medic One staff.

Happy birthday Medic One! Happy birthday Medic One!

One of the county's Medic One units. One of the county's Medic One units.