Well it looks like winter is here. I just wanted to remind everyone that the Lynden Fire Department responds to a lot of ground level falls, especially when we have freezing weather with snow and ice. Make sure, if you must go out, wear good shoes, move slowly and hang onto anything you can to keep from falling. If you don’t need to go out stay in and read a good book.
We still get a few phone calls a month directly to the Fire Station with emergency calls. I wanted to let you all know why it is so important to call 911 when a true emergency has come up. The best and fastest way to get the Fire Department to your emergency is to call 911. Our 911 Dispatchers can tone us out on our pagers even when they are talking to you on the phone. This is County wide.
Lynden Fire Department tries to keep four Firefighter/EMTs on duty 24 hours a day 365 days a year. So far with the co-operation of Council and Administration we have been doing that most of the time. One reason for four on duty is we have been averaging 25 back to back emergency calls a month. That is almost 1 back to back call per day and our closest Mutual Aid unit is 10 to 12 minutes away.
Normally we will send two Firefighter/EMTs on the Ambulance on what we call an Alfa or Bravo call. These are the not so critical patient, even though they are important. They just may not need as many personnel to take care of the situation. At times, the Engine with two on board may also go on the call in case they are needed. They can then respond to the next call if it comes in while the first crew are dealing with the first call. Depending on what type of call comes in, they can either respond with the Engine which has all the equipment that the Ambulance has, other than a gurney (cot) to transport a patient. If they believe this call could be a Basic Life Support (BLS) transport they will go back to the Station and pick up our second Ambulance. If the Chief is in the area or at the Station he can and has brought the Ambulance to the scene for them. The other reason, as I have written about before, is having the Engine out even with two Firefighter/EMTs is a good thing if we would happen to get a fire call while they are out on a medical call. If a call comes in as a more serious type call like heart attack, stroke, trauma or motor vehicle incident we send both the ambulance and the Engine for tools and manpower.
Back to calling 911. Some people are almost afraid of calling 911 and others call for some of the oddest issues. Most all the 911 call takers are very conscious of how they treat callers and direct them to the proper entity. There are times that there is no one in the Station on 4th Street. The crews may be on another call, they could be training at our training facility, out doing Life Safety inspections or other duties around town. The Chief maybe out at meetings. The Administration Support Staff may be at meetings or gone to lunch. If you have an emergency and call 911 our Dispatcher will tone the Station crew by paging them wherever they are at in the City or in the County. If they are on another call Dispatch will send the next closest Ambulance or Engine to your location according to what type of an emergency you have. If you were to call the Station, it will take more time for staff to call 911 and let them know what the emergency is and to figure out if only a BLS unit needs to respond or in case of a severe injury they need to call an Advance Life Support (ALS) unit to also respond. 911 Dispatcher are trained to ask the right questions and know who to send depending on the emergency. Most of the time a second Dispatcher listening in on the call is toning the Fire Department before you have answered many of the questions from the first Dispatcher. If you have any question about when to call 911 or questions about how we do business in the Lynden Fire Department, please call (360) 354-4400. I would like to answer any question you may have. If I’m not there one of my staff would be happy to help.
Gary Baar, Fire Chief
Did you know? Persons who are Medicaid eligible and who reside in a nursing facility, boarding home, adult family home, or receive in-home services are eligible for an exemption in the Ambulance Utility Rate. If you meet the criteria above or wish to learn more click here to download flyer and application
All Fire Department downloadable forms and applications can be found HERE. All forms and applications for the City of Lynden can be found HERE.