South Whidbey Fire/EMS responders tending to patients might come from elsewhere in the future.
At Thursday night’s monthly commissioner’s meeting, commissioners Kenon Simmons and Frank Mestemacher approved a district policy amendment to allow volunteers from outside district boundaries. The move is an effort from South Whidbey Fire/EMS to increase its volunteer staff size to accommodate increasing emergency calls.
The policy amendment calls for potential out-of-district volunteers to be approved by Chief Rusty Palmer on a case-to-case basis.
The change comes as the number of emergency calls has exponentially increased over the past few years. In a seven-year period, Palmers says the district saw emergency calls double. Meanwhile, the district has seen a decrease in volunteerism.
Simmons praised the move as a creative solution to a worsening issue.
“I appreciate the work you guys are doing to find solutions,” Simmons said. “We’re not leaving any rock unturned.”