Mlk. Terrace to drop Medic 7


Herald Writer

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Mountlake Terrace plans to dump Medic 7 and ask Snohomish County Fire District 1 to take over the city’s firefighter and paramedic service, city manager Connie Fessler said Thursday.

The move should put fully trained paramedics in the city and mean a faster response for residents who dial 911 in both the city and the district, which serves unincorporated south Snohomish County, officials from both agencies said.

It should also cost less than the $320,000 the city now pays to Medic 7, a paramedic agency based in Edmonds and Lynnwood that also serves Mountlake Terrace, Brier and Woodway, Fessler said.

But the departure of Mountlake Terrace from Medic 7 could leave Edmonds and Lynnwood paying more for paramedic service, to the tune of $400,000, if Brier, whose fire service is provided by Mountlake Terrace, also drops out, Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson said.

Haakenson asked Fessler to consider the effects on neighboring cities.

"Please address mutual and automatic aid so the citizens in south Snohomish County won’t feel that they are being abandoned," Haakenson said.

Fessler said Mountlake Terrace has been looking for ways to cut costs for emergency services, which typically consume the lion’s share of any city’s budget. He also said Initiative 695 budget cuts added urgency to the search.

The switch should cut costs and improve service, Mountlake Terrace acting fire chief Brad Reading said. That’s because the city will train its firefighters as paramedics using money it had paid to Medic 7, he said.

The city has no paramedics at its two fire stations, relying instead on the Medic 7 paramedics in Edmonds and Lynnwood. That will change as Mountlake Terrace adds nine paramedics through new hires and firefighter training, enough to have one on duty at each station at all times, Reading said.

Firefighter/paramedics can do many things that emergency medical technicians can’t, such as administer drugs, District 1 Fire Chief Jack McArthur said.

Paramedics also have far more training, about 1,200 hours compared with 110 hours, said Bob Eastman, firefighter/paramedic with District 1.

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