Emergency Fire & Medical Response
Prepared for Anything
Emergency Medical Services
Guemes Island Fire Department provides first response emergency care 24 hours a day 7 days a week. These services are accessed by calling 911. Our EMS response is two tiered; GIFD responds first with basic life support (BLS) personnel and Anacortes Fire Department provides advanced life support (ALS) care and, when necessary, Medic 1 transport to Island Hospital. If circumstances warrant it, Airlift Northwest provides helicopter transport.
Guemes Island emergency medical operations are administered by Chief Medical Officer Eric Kankaala. He supervises and oversees training for the island's team of emergency medical technicians (EMTs). This team can provide BLS care including O2 support, CPR, defibrillation, epinephrine for allergic reactions, & narcan for opioid overdoses. All EMTs are certified and registered with Washington State Department of Health and must participate in continuing education annually. BLS operations are supported by a 2005 Medtec ambulance.
Guemes Island has approximately 500 year round residents, with that number about doubling from mid spring through mid fall. During the summer, warm weather can bring in several thousand vacation residents. Recent upgrades to vacation housing has contributed greatly to reducing fire risks, but in many areas houses are on narrow lots creating the potential for the involvement of multiple structures anytime a fire occurs. The island is also heavily wooded making the risk of wildland fires and wildland/urban interface fires a significant issue during the warm, dry days of summer.
The departments fire suppression apparatus includes 2 Pumper/Engines, a 4000 gallon tender, and brush fire and support unit. By using a port-a-tank and shuttling water with our tender we are able maintain a constant water supply at fire scenes.
Wildland Fire Serive
With wild fire danger increasing in Western Washington; all of our personnel are trained in the latest techniques to ensure they are safe. We also have the ability to receive mutual aid for many other districts in Skagit, as well as the Department of Natural Resources.
Motor Vehicle Rescues
A delicate approach is necessary in order to minimize injury during this type of operation. Our well-trained personnel are fully equipped with the tools necessary to deal with these situations while minimizing damage to both properties and humans.
Guemes Island Fire Department carries the Jaws of Life as well as Rescue 42 automobile stabilization gear to help ensure safety for victims and firefighters at motor vehicle accident scenes.
Living in a marine environment, we also have the ability to respond with our rescue vessel to situations that may need our assistance. We also provide safety crews for local open water sport and swimming events.