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.

Cause of Arbor Heights Fire Classified as Undetermined


Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard


Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard


Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard


Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard


Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      April 29—Seattle Fire Investigators are classifying a fire at an Arbor Heights home as undetermined. Due the extensive damage to the structure and the danger of the building collapsing, investigators were not able to go inside the home to collect evidence.

At 7:38 p.m. the first 911 call came into dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center reporting flames coming from a home in the 10000 block of 39th Avenue SW.  The first arriving engine crew found a heavy column of black smoke and flames shooting from the one-story home with basement. Immediately the firefighters took a defensive stance and fought the fire from the outside of the structure.

Flames were shooting from the north and south sides of the home exposing to the neighboring homes. As a precaution, firefighters evacuated both homes of the occupants including one paraplegic resident. Due to their quick work, crews were able to protect the neighboring structures from the fire.

When firefighters arrived the two occupants of the fire home were outside. The female occupant escaped first. A neighbor rescued the male occupant by opening the front door and pulling him outside to safety. Medics transported the male, a man in his 70’s, to Harborview Medical Center with burns to his head and with smoke inhalation. He was in stable condition. AMR transported the female resident, also in her 70’s, to Harborview Medical Center with smoke inhalation. She also was in stable condition.

As of the morning of Wednesday April 30, both residents remain hospitalized and fire investigators have been unable to speak to them regarding the fire investigation.

It took fire crews about 30 minutes from arriving to control the fire. The majority of damage was to the basement, garage and back deck. Fire investigators determined the house is a total loss.

Firefighters stayed on scene all throughout the night on a Fire Watch to make sure no hot spots flared up.

The damage estimate is $350,000 to the structure and $100,000 in damage to the contents.


CO Detector Helps Save the Lives of Ballard Couple and Their Pet

UPDATE: 5 p.m.  Seattle Police Investigators determined the cause of the CO Poisoning was accidental. The couple is recovering at Virginia Mason Medical Center. The couple’s dog was taken in by a neighbor.

March 26—Firefighters rescued a couple and a dog out of a Ballard townhome full of Carbon Monoxide this morning. 

Prior to the firefighter’s arrival, a PSE employee was called to a townhome located in the 800 block of NW 52nd Street to look into a CO Alarm sounding in Unit B of a two-unit complex.  While investigating the cause of the CO Alarm activating, the PSE employee discovered a car running in the closed garage of Unit A.

At 5:12 this morning dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center received a 911 call from the PSE employee reporting the running car. When firefighters arrived they made forcible entry into the 3-story home. Inside Unit A, they found two semi-conscious patients who collapsed at the top of  the staircase . The patients demonstrated symptoms of CO poisoning.  Firefighters rescued the couple and their dog.  Once outside the home, the two patients began to regain consciousness. The dog did not show any visible symptoms of CO poisoning.

Medics evaluated the patients, a male and a female in their 30’s, and transported them to Virginia Mason Medical Center to be placed in the hyperbaric chamber.  The patients were conscious and stable at the time of the transport.

Fire crews measured the CO levels in Unit A and found the levels to be 1300 parts-per-million. Greater
than 35 ppm Exceeds acceptable levels for continued exposure.
  CO is an odorless colorless gas that can be deadly. It’s often times called the “Silent Killer”. According to the National Fire Protection Association a person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.

Firefighters used industrial fans to ventilate the townhome and to make the environment safe for the occupants to return to the units.

The family in the non-affected unit  had left prior to firefighters arrival to stay with relatives.

If your CO alarm sounds, get out immediately and call 911.

The Fire Department is thankful for the diligence and quick actions of the PSE employee.  The on-scene fire officer stated two occupants of the home would not have survived without the actions of the Puget Sound employee.

For more information on danger of Carbon Monoxide click on this link.