Advanced life support paramedic services are provided in Bellingham, and throughout Whatcom County, by Whatcom Medic One, a nationally recognized provider of quality, cost-effective emergency medical services for over three decades.
Paramedic units provide advanced life support (ALS) response, and patient transportation to the hospital if necessary, throughout Whatcom County. Two units are located in Bellingham, and two are located in the northwestern and central areas of the county.
Basic life support (BLS) medical care and transport is performed by various county fire districts, supported by Whatcom Medic One paramedic units if necessary.
Whatcom Medic One charges a fee for service to assist in offsetting operational expenses. It is also supported by a 1/10th of one percent countywide sales tax and funding from the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County.
Calls for service: Whatcom Medic One responded to 9,100 calls in 2009, serving a county wide population of almost 200,000 people.
Financial management: The 2010 budget for Whatcom Medic One is less than the 2009 budget, thanks to careful financial management and labor group collaboration.
Community feedback: Whatcom Medic One asks for feedback from all users. Survey responses for 2009 (PDF) include:
Whatcom Medic One is administered and operated by the City of Bellingham through an interlocal agreement with Whatcom County government. This agreement is the result of the Emergency Medical Services Plan (PDF), intended to guide the Whatcom Medic One system from 2005 until 2012. Subsequent to the plan's adoption, the City and County spent considerable time and effort crafting the interlocal agreement (PDF) in place today.
The Joint Board is aided by the Emergency Medical and Ambulance Advisory Board which is charged with coordinating emergency medical services, settling disputes, and making budget and other recommendations to the Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council.
In accordance with state requirements, Whatcom Medic One medical operations are directed by a Supervising Physician. Whatcom Medic One also falls under the jurisdiction of the Whatcom County Medical Program Director, a position certified by and appointed by the Washington State Department of Health. This position, operating under the direction and protection of state requirements, is responsible for the education, certification, and quality assurance for the care provided by all emergency medical services in Whatcom County.