Emergency personnel for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue responded to 8,827 calls for help in 2020, 64 percent (5,644) of which were for emergency medical service (EMS). Total calls dipped slightly compared to 2019 (9,127), but the percentage of EMS calls has stayed the same.
Fire Chief John Oliver says that these statistics are likely due to the pandemic. More people were staying home in the early stages of the mandated “stay at home” orders which meant fewer emergencies. However, the percentage of emergency medical calls held constant due to COVID-19 concerns or responses.
CKFR provides the highest level of emergency medical care for residents. Highly-trained Paramedics offer Advanced Life Support (or “ALS”), which means residents get Emergency Room-like care when they call 911. CKFR Paramedics can perform lifesaving cardiac procedures, surgical airway techniques, and provide intravenous medications to save lives when time is a factor. The Fire District also has portable hospital-grade ventilators in medic units, which have been used to treat patients with respiratory issues associated with COVID-19.
“Our community has invested in an EMS program that provides a 24-hour Paramedic response,” said Chief Oliver. “That’s the highest level of care possible that a fire district can provide from the time we arrive on scene and all the way to a hospital.”
The community’s EMS program is funded through a 6-year levy of $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Voters last renewed the levy in 2015, and it will expire at the end of the year. CKFR likely will ask voters to renew the EMS levy at the same rate sometime this fall.