WhidbeyHealth to End 10-year Interlocal Agreement with Fire Districts
Since 2008 Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue (CWIFR) and North Whidbey Fire and Rescue (NWFR) have partnered with the Whidbey Island Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth), staffing Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulances for the hospital through an Interlocal Agreement. CWIFR has staffed one ambulance and NWFR has staffed two ambulances through this partnership.
This program was initially implemented to improve responses to medical emergencies. However, increased staffing with emergency personnel who can respond to medical and fire calls also improved the level of fire and rescue service. This increased efficiency for taxpayers and provided a higher level of service for a lower cost than any of the agencies could have done separately.
Initially the fire districts paid approximately 15% of the cost of staffing the BLS ambulances, but over time this cost share has increased to approximately 36%. In 2019, WhidbeyHealth will pay the fire districts $201,495 for staffing each ambulance. The two fire districts have approached staffing the BLS Ambulances differently, CWIFR has staffed one ambulance with a mix of full-time and part-time Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). NWFR has used Part-Time Firefighter/EMTs to staff two ambulances.