Thurston County Medic One looks to add new unit


Thurston County Medic One is looking to add a new unit which will be based in the North End Fire Station at Linwood Avenue, Tumwater Fire Chief Brian Hurley told the Tumwater City Council on Tuesday, May 14.

The new unit means an addition of two personnel which would help improve the paramedic team’s response time. Hurley noted that the additional staff members will also be firefighters.

Hurley explained that the station has been chosen as the preferred location for Medic One’s eighth unit after Medic One conducted a response time analysis of 16 suitable fire stations in 2023.

The North End Fire Station emerged on top, followed by Station 33 in Lacey and Station 1 in downtown Olympia.

Hurley explained that the county’s Emergency Medical Services Council has determined that a new unit would need to be added if the compliance rate with standard response time falls below 90%. The fire chief said that the compliance rate is just approaching 90% but they must get ahead as it takes time to establish a new unit.

To prepare for the unit, the fire department will be negotiating an amendment to the city’s advanced life services contract with Medic One in the following months.

Hurley said that there is already an existing formula for how the city and Medic One will fund the new unit. Medic One will cover 80% of most expenses including compensation, benefits, vehicle, equipment, office space, and storage space while Tumwater will pay the remainder. If the new personnel need to go through the fire training academy, the city will cover the cost.

The amended contract will return to the council from July to August and will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for approval from August to September, according to a tentative timeline presented by Hurley.

If approved by the county, hiring for the new unit may begin this September.

The addition of the new unit also necessitates additional improvements at the North End Fire Station. Hurley said that they are still discussing what improvements are needed but mentioned that they will need to expand the footprint of the station to accommodate its staff.

According to the timeline, any improvements for the fire station will be constructed next year before the new unit is activated by January 1, 2026.


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