A fifth Advanced Life Support medic unit for the county could be coming to Lynden.
Local fire districts and departments provide Basic Life Support services by emergency medical technicians when they arrive as first responders to accidents and emergencies. ALS medics, arriving next or simultaneously, are trained and certified at a higher level.
The Whatcom County Emergency Medical Services Oversight Board, following a long evaluation process from November 2019 through July 2020, recommends Lynden as the home base for the new unit, county EMS Manager Mike Hilley said.
The big process of planning a new ALS unit began after county residents voted in 2016 in favor of a countywide EMS levy of 29.5 cents per $1,000 of property value. That levy set up a six-year strategic planning process, including the possible need for a new medic unit beyond the current four.
That was based on anecdotal information, Hilley said, as paramedic units were getting busier and busier as the county population grows. The next step was gathering some hard data.