South County Fire is staffed and responding to emergency calls. Stations are closed to visitors. Please visit our NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) page for the most current information and resources from county, state and national health officials.

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When residents of nursing homes, adult family homes, assisted living and other long-term, adult care facilities need emergency medical help, we want to be prepared.

COVID-19 or coronavirus symptoms: When calling 911, inform the dispatcher if the patient has any symptoms of coronavirus, including cough, shortness of breath or fever. One firefighter will come to your door dressed in protective gear and they will ask you a few questions before entering. If necessary, additional firefighters will enter wearing protective gear.  This does not mean the patient has COVID-19. We may also ask the patient to wear a mask.

When you call 911 for a resident with a medical emergency:

Meet us at the door

Have a staff member and the resident meet paramedics at the front door, if safe to do so. If the resident is unable to safely be near your entrance, then have a staff member meet paramedics and escort them to the resident.

Have medical information ready

  • Complete this EMS Patient Facesheet (PDF) and print it out for EMS staff
  • Patient directives such as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
  • List or print-out current medications

Lifting assistance for non-emergency falls:

State laws and rules require adult family homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes with residents at risk of falling to have systems and staff to respond to non-emergent falls without calling 9-1-1.

This includes evaluating the resident’s condition after a fall and assisting the resident back to the pre-fall position, if there are no signs of injuries.

When your evaluation shows that a resident may have a medical emergency, you should call 9-1-1.

Washington Department of Social and Health Services Administrative Letters for each category of care facility provide further guidance on use of EMS and when to call 911.

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