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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 30, 2006
Steve Romines, Administrator  Phone:  (360) 704-2780

Thurston County Dedicating New Medic Unit Into Service

OLYMPIA —The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Thurston County Medic One medic unit, "Medic 6 ." The ceremony will be held on November 2 , 2006 , 6 : 30 PM Lacey Fire District Station 3 - 4 , 8407 Steilacoom Rd. The new unit is a partnership between Lacey Fire District 3 and Thurston County Medic One.

Thurston County Board of County Commissioners approved a contract earlier this year to add a new paramedic ambulance to Thurston County Medic One service. The new level of service is to be added to the rapidly growing northeast/Lacey area. Lacey Fire District # 3 has hired four additional paramedics to help staff the new advanced life support vehicle. "Medic 6 ," started responding to calls for emergency medical help on October 2 , 2006 .

Lacey Fire District currently contracts with Medic One to manage two other paramedic units in Lacey and Yelm. The new paramedic unit will be in operations 12 hours per day in the northeast/Lacey area. It will help relieve the peak load on the current Lacey paramedic unit "Medic 3 " and neighboring Olympia and Tumwater units, as well as provide additional paramedic transport capability Thurston County wide. "Annual cost of operations for 'Medic 6 ' will be approximately $ 400,000 , and is part of the overall Medic One operation.

Last year, Thurston County Medic One/EMS basic life support agencies responded to 21,336 calls within a nearly 750 square mile territory. Of those calls 11,439 responses proved severe enough to require a paramedic-tier (Medic Unit) response. Medic Units then transported over 5,411 people facing a life-threatening emergency to an area hospital, including over 200 patients whose hearts had stopped. The six county-wide Medic Units average response time is 8.9 minutes, up from 8.7 minutes in 2004 and 8.6 minutes in 2003 . The new unit's goal will be to improve response time and reverse the current trend. Local fire/EMS units usually arrive in less than 7 minutes. Thurston County's population of over 231,100 citizens benefit daily from nearly 450 dual role fire/EMS personnel countywide that respond quickly. Nearly 60 % of the personnel are fire volunteers.

Thurston County Medic One completed its 32 nd year in August 2006 . Medic One started responding to emergencies in August 1974 as the first county-wide, tiered response, dual role fire/EMS emergency medical system in the nation. It was patterned after Seattle Medic One.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3