SFD paramedics graduate, win awards

Congratulations to Seattle Fire’s newest paramedics. Eight Seattle firefighters graduated from the intensive nine-month Medic One Paramedic Training Program on July 28, 2018. These paramedics are now assigned to Seattle Fire medic units to provide advanced life support on emergency response calls. Including this graduating class, Seattle Fire now has more than 70 paramedics in service.

Newest Seattle Fire paramedics

During the ceremony, two Seattle Fire students were announced award recipients.

Kent Burden was selected as winner of this year’s Jack N. Richards Inspirational Award. The class selects the award winner from their peers. 

Andrew Hewitt received the Mike Storbakken Airway Award, which recognizes the student who excelled in controlling patient airways (via intubation) on critical calls.

The graduating class also included students from seven other local fire departments and King County Emergency Medical Services. To see a list of those agencies, visit this page.

The training program is led by the University of Washington and considered one of the most rigorous paramedic training programs in the nation. Students take 2,500 hours of instruction (national recommendation is 1,100 hours) and average 700 patient contacts – three times the national average.

Paramedics trained through the University of Washington learn to provide physician-level care for cardiac arrest and other potentially life-threatening issues at an incident scene.

Having high levels of care available to patients prior to arriving at a hospital increases their chance for survival.

For example, an August 2018 report issued by King County Emergency Medical Services shows that 21 percent of cardiac patients treated by Seattle/King County emergency responders survived and were able to be discharged from the hospital (includes care provided by emergency medical technicians and paramedics). Nationally, that rate is at 11 percent.

These rates are also viewed as benchmarks for the quality of care provided by emergency responders in the field.

The Medic One Foundation fundraises to cover paramedic training costs for each class. We thank them for this incredible level of support, which ultimately benefits Seattle and King County.

To learn more about the paramedic training Seattle Fire personnel received, visit the University of Washington Paramedic Training website.

Media can email SFDPIO@seattle.gov to interview winners and hear firsthand about paramedic training.

Helicopter crashes near the Space Needle

Photo Courtesy Fire Buff John Odegard

At 7:40 this morning a KOMO TV News helicopter carrying two people crashed onto Broad Street near 5th Avenue igniting three cars.  The pilot and news photographer onboard were killed instantly in the crash.  A 37-year old man who was in the car hit by helicopter debris was transported to Harborview Medical Center with third degree burns.   The occupants in the other two cars were not injured.

Initial 9-1-1 calls reported a large fire ball near a building.  About 15 seconds later, multiple 9-1-1 callers described  a helicopter on the ground and three cars on fire. When firefighters arrived on scene two Seattle Police Officers were assisting the badly burned driver. This allowed firefighters critical  time to  ensure no one else was trapped in the wreckage. Firefighters quickly extinguished the burning vehicles and prevented fuel from entering the storm drains.  The damage due to the helicopter crash was confined to the three cars.

Seattle Fire Department’s heavy rescue response included a technical rescue team with specialized equipment and training for difficult extrications.  Twenty-six fire units responded to the scene with a total of approximately 50 firefighters.

The Seattle Police Department with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation.