Fire District 1 trains medical unit leaders for major incidents

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Students work on a group project in the medical unit leader class held last week at Snohomish County Fire District 1. About 20 firefighters from throughout the region completed the training to learn how to oversee medical unit operations at major incidents such as earthquakes, wildland fires and floods.

About 20 firefighters from throughout the state completed a two-day class at Snohomish County Fire District 1 last week to prepare them to serve as medical unit leaders during major incidents such as earthquakes, wildfires and floods.

The class was taught by James Brown, a firefighter/paramedic with Fire District 1, who served as one of the medical unit leaders at the Oso landslide in 2014. The medical unit leader is a member of the incident management team and is responsible for developing a medical plan for the incident and providing emergency medical service and health care for personnel assigned to the incident.

Eight officers and firefighters from Fire District 1 attended the class:  Assistant Chief Bob Eastman; Deputy Chief Shaughn Maxwell; Medical Services Officers Chris East, Paul Easter and Gene Smith; and Firefighter/Paramedics Shane Cooper, Nicole Picknell and Matt Stiefel.

Their training does not end with the completion of the class. The next step to becoming a medical unit leader is to gain field experience and complete a task book as a trainee at a wildfire or other incident.

Fire District 1 members have served as the medical unit leader on multiple disasters in this state. “These deployments serve other agencies as well as equip our leaders for disasters in our community,” Interim Fire Chief Brad Reading said.

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