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Frequently asked questions

Why does a fire truck and an ambulance go to a medical call? Isn’t that a terrible waste of the taxpayers’ money?

You’re not alone in wondering about that; it’s a common question – and we’re glad to have the opportunity to answer it! There are several reasons why you might see both ambulances and fire engines at aid calls. First of all, it’s important to note that nearly all of our response personnel are certified at the emergency medical technician (EMT) level or higher. Even our fire engines carry essential medical equipment such as heart monitors and oxygen. In fact, there are only two things that an engine and its crew can’t provide: transport to the hospital and advanced life support (or paramedic) services. Since it’s our goal to get the closest available unit to an incident as quickly as possible, often times, that unit may be a fire engine. There’s another reason why an engine might respond on a medical call. Our ambulances carry a crew of two – an EMT and a paramedic, or two EMTs. Critical incidents – cardiac arrests, unconscious patients, many heart attacks, some strokes, uncontrolled bleeding, etc – may require more personnel than are provided with a single ambulance. Engines may respond to provide additional crew for critical or complicated calls.

What are the Washington state requirements for carbon monoxide detection?

The Washington State Building Code Council web site has a page containing links to the current laws and regulations governing carbon monoxide detection. The Washington State Department of Commerce offers a one-page summary of the rules. For guidance on the precise location for installing carbon monoxide alarms, we suggest referring to the product manufacturer’s recommendations.