Over 80 percent of the calls we receive are for emergency medical care, compared to 20 percent for fire suppression. Our career personnel are trained to a minimum of Washington State Emergency Medical Technician. Twenty-six of our career personnel are state certified Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedics. We provide ALS-Paramedic services on each of our 5 career-staffed apparatus at all times. Through the highest training standards, state-of-the-art equipment, the skills and dedication of our personnel, and a modern emergency care delivery system, the department provides the best service available.
ALS vs. BLS
What is the difference between Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS)?
Basic Life Support includes treatments such as CPR, bleeding control and first aid.
Advanced Life Support is the advanced care provided by paramedics under the direction of a physician. The care includes administering life-saving medications, giving shots and starting intravenous lifelines, reading cardiac rhythms and diagnosing/treating an early stage heart attack or stroke. Paramedics can support breathing with tubes and ventilation devices. A significant number of additional hours of training is required to become certified as a paramedic.
Fire District 6 provides its citizens with around-the-clock fire protection in the form of four staffed fire engines and one squad. Led by at least one chief officer, we can field a total of eight engines, an air/rehab supply unit, two rescue/brush fire units, command vehicles, and a rescue boat. The District also has long-standing mutual-aid agreements with all other Clark County Fire agencies to obtain assistance (or provide it) when needed.
“Technical rescue” is a special skills area of the fire service that focuses on the application of specific knowledge, skills, and equipment to safely resolve unique and/or complex rescue situations. Examples include: rescues from confined spaces, trench collapse, water emergencies, structural collapse, and rescuing people trapped above or below grade or in other challenging situations. Providing multi-disciplined technical rescue services requires careful planning, a large time commitment from the team members, equipment research and acquisition, risk analysis, training, and funding. The Southwest Washington, Region 4 Technical Rescue Team is a group of personnel having the advanced training and special equipment to safely and efficiently conduct technical rescue operations. The Regional team consists of firefighters from Fire District 6, Clark County Fire and Rescue and Vancouver Fire Department. The team is available to respond to incidents in Washington state Region 4 including Clark, Skamania, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties. The Southwest Washington team may also respond to the Urban Area Security Initiative area including Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties in Oregon as well as Clark County.
Hazardous Materials Incident Response
Fire District 6 personnel are trained to the “First Responder Operations” level, which is defined as follows: “First responders at the operations level are members who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release. They are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to stop the release.” Additionally, All of our Battalion Chiefs are trained to the “Hazardous Materials On Scene Incident Commander” level which is defined as: “The person in overall command of an emergency incident. This person is responsible for the direction and coordination of the response effort. If a hazardous materials response team is on site, tactics will be implemented by the Incident Commander after consultation with the Hazardous Materials Response Team.” Hazardous Materials Response Teams are available through mutual aid agreements from Vancouver Fire Department or Portland Fire and Rescue.