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.

Late Night Water Rescue off Seattle Aquarium

January 6—the Seattle Fire Department’s Marine Emergency Response Team rescued a 27-year-old intoxicated male from the waters off the Seattle Aquarium.

At 11 p.m. a caller reported to dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center that a male had jumped 25 feet from the pier into the water near Pier 59. When firefighters arrived in the 1400 block of Alaskan Way they found a male who had jumped into the water and swam to a rock formation and pulled himself out of the water. The man was cold, wet and trapped.   According to the NOAA website, the water temperature in Elliott Bay was 49.8 degrees.

Technical Rescue Team divers entered the water to make sure the man was safe. The Seattle Fire Boat used it’s skiff to navigate the pylons of the pier structure to rescue the man who was trapped.  The rescue operation took about half-an hour.

The man was transported to waterfront Fire Station 5 where Paramedics evaluated him. Medics used a c-collar and backboard to stabilize the man after he complained of back pain. Also, the patient was experiencing symptoms of the cold water.

AMR transported the patient to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.