Submitted by San Juan Island Hospital District 1
In the recent February election, San Juan Island EMS won 66 percent voter approval for the renewal of their six-year levy to support emergency response services.
San Juan Island EMS is incredibly grateful for the support from the public in the most recent election. Superintendent Nathan Butler stated, “We are grateful that the public has given us their trust and support in renewing this levy. It wasn’t an easy election cycle, and we were so gratified by the outcome.”
With six years of public funding secured for San Juan Island EMS, there are many plans on the horizon for improvement, including hiring an Operations Chief and Training Officer this spring. Board Chair Anna Lisa Lindstrum stated that “the hiring of an Operations Chief and Training Officer has been a long-term goal of the District but was placed on hold due to uncertainty of San Juan Island EMS’s future. With the appropriate funding secured, the District is very excited to place more of an emphasis on training and operations for EMTs and Paramedics.”
In addition to hiring an Operations Chief and Training Officer, San Juan Island EMS is very excited for Margaret Longley to complete Paramedic school at Medic One and begin working as a fifth paramedic for the agency in the summer of 2022. This position was funded when the District paid off the EMS building bond in 2021 and will not cost taxpayers more.
San Juan Island EMS has eleven volunteer EMTs in training that are expected to receive their EMT certifications this summer. Volunteer EMTs are important to the functioning of San Juan Island EMS as they provide crucial depth on all calls, but especially concurrent and more complex calls. Weyshawn Koons, Director of Emergency Response, noted that, “our EMTs in training are doing very well! They are passing all of their tests and are very excited to start going on 911 calls and working with current staff and volunteer EMTs.”
In 2022 San Juan Island EMS expanded its Outreach and Community Paramedicine program. Additionally, there are plans underway to revitalize and update a previous AED (automated external defibrillator) project with community partners to ensure that all AEDs on the island have up-to-date supplies and are working properly.
This will be a year of growth for San Juan Island EMS. The two new full-time hires, as well eleven new volunteer EMTs joining our workforce will help meet the continually rising need for emergency services on San Juan Island. A graph of a comprehensive plan for 2022 has been attached and provides further detail on San Juan Island EMS’s objectives.
San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 currently operates San Juan Island EMS and pays a large subsidy to support PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center. It is acquiring the Village at the Harbor on Feb.28.