San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Temporarily Implements 24/7 On-Duty Staffing

Posted March 28, 2020 at 5:13 am by

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA – San Juan Island Fire and Res­cue (SJIF&R) con­tin­ues to adjust emer­gency oper­a­tions and prepa­ra­tions need­ed dur­ing the glob­al COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. “Dur­ing the cur­rent health cri­sis emer­gency SJIF&R con­tin­ues adapt­ing our emer­gency response capa­bil­i­ties to meet the needs of our res­i­dents and respon­ders,” said SJIF&R Chief Norvin Collins.

With­in less than 24-hours of Wash­ing­ton Gov­er­nor Inslee’s “Stay at Home” order, SJIF&R imple­ment­ed an on-duty, 24/7 emer­gency response capa­bil­i­ty with a rotat­ing 3 or 4‑person crew. The on-duty crew is housed in SJF&R’s main fire sta­tion. The crew con­sists of 1 Offi­cer, 1 Appa­ra­tus Oper­a­tor, and 2 Fire­fight­er and/or Emer­gency Med­ical Tech­ni­cians (EMTs).

Chief Collins said, “The respond­ing on-duty crew is respond­ing to the full-spec­trum of emer­gency calls includ­ing advanced and basic life sup­port calls (ALS and BLS), fire and oth­er haz­ard inci­dents. Work­ing with San Juan EMS, SJIF&R’s on-duty crew expands the num­ber of EMTs avail­able for imme­di­ate emer­gency dis­patch and response.”

SJIF&R’s on-duty 24/7 response plan reduces the num­ber of our vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers’ expo­sure to COVID-19 while pro­vid­ing effi­cient and safe response for our com­mu­ni­ties. In the event of a high-vol­ume of emer­gency calls, struc­tur­al fire calls, com­plex res­cues and fire­boat oper­a­tions, SJIF&R’s trained vol­un­teers con­tin­ue to respond as needed.

As expect­ed, our vol­un­teer and paid staff have risen to the chal­lenge of pro­vid­ing emer­gency response dur­ing this health cri­sis.  I am proud that we have more vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers for 24/7 shifts than we have slots avail­able. We are focused on the islands we serve, and we con­tin­ue work­ing with our neigh­bor­ing islands to pro­tect San Juan Coun­ty as a whole,” said Chief Collins.

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One comment...

  1. This would have been a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to include com­ments on the par­al­lel staffing efforts of San Juan Island EMS.…the orga­ni­za­tion who has been car­ing for vic­tims all along…

    Comment by Francis Smith on March 28, 2020 at 9:25 am

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