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Nearly $1M in funding helps Wash. FD expand successful community paramedicine program

South County Fire is adding staff to its community resource paramedic program that has decreased 911 calls and emergency department visits


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By Bill Carey

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — South County Fire is set to spend nearly $1 million in external funding to enhance community paramedic services, aiming to decrease 911 calls and emergency room visits.

The department’s community resource paramedics connect frequent 911 callers with social services and various resources to address their needs. The program ensures a 24/7 response to the community’s most vulnerable residents, My Edmond News reported.

Financial support from Verdant Health Commission and North Sound Accountable Community of Health provides the addition of another community resource paramedic and community health workers to streamline patient care coordination.

“Demand for emergency services is growing exponentially,” South County Fire Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services Joe Hughes said. “Expanding our Community Resource Paramedic program means we’ll help keep more at-risk residents safely in their homes and out of the emergency room. We are grateful to Verdant and North Sound ACH for sharing and supporting our vision to create a healthier, more resilient community.”

South County Fire is expanding its team to include a total of six community resource paramedics, with four operating on rotating 24-hour shifts. Additionally, a minimum of three community health workers will join the team to assess client needs, schedule follow-up visits, and provide additional support.

Since its launch in 2013, the data indicates that calls to 911 and emergency room visits have decreased in over 50 percent of client cases. 

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