San Juan EMS paramedics now responding from station
At midnight on January 1, 2023, San Juan Island EMS crew replaced the unit designators. While these designators aren't well known to the public, they have strong emotional resonance for the responders.
A unit is designated "Med" if a Paramedic is aboard. A paramedic is a more advanced credential than EMT, and takes 1-2 years to obtain.
Ambulances are designated:
Aid 31 became Aid 11 or Med 11
Aid 32 became Aid 12 or Med 12
Aid 33 became Aid 13 or Med 13
Prior to January 1, 2023, SJ EMS operated with on-call shifts. Each paramedic was on-call about 70 hours a week. They often beat the ambulance to the scene. Starting New Years Day, instead of an on-call system, all paramedics are responding out of the station.
Their individual specific designators have been retired:
Med 34 (Longley)
Med 35 (Davies)
Med 36 (Waldron)
Med 37 (Koons)
Med 38 (Nelson).
The change from an on-call system to in-station system was made possible by adding Paramedic Longley. Also the new Assistant Chief TJ Bishop is a paramedic. Much of the cost was offset by paying off the EMS Building bond.
According to SJ EMS, the new system will serve us well by placing our paramedics in the station with staff. The station living quarters have been refurbished and upgraded to accommodate the long-planned change. A new union agreement has been signed, effective today [January 1] as well.