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Fire District 1 captain wins national honor
Snohomish County Fire District 1 Capt. Shaughn Maxwell has been named one of the top 10 innovators in emergency medical services (EMS) for 2013 by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
Maxwell received the prestigious EMS 10 Innovator award at the EMS Today Conference and Exposition in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The award honors the top 10 EMS innovators from the United States and Canada who drove the profession forward during the previous year.
Maxwell was honored for his work on developing a series of checklists for paramedics to use in the field to improve patient care and overall delivery of emergency medical services. JEMS noted the checklists have the potential to “transform the way EMS operates” and “may very well inform new ways of thinking for medical personnel around the world.”
This is the second national honor Fire District 1 has received for this innovative program. Last year, Fire District 1 received the Excellence in Fire-Service Based EMS Award presented by the Congressional Fire Service Institute and the MedicAlert Foundation.
“Checklists are already successfully used in other industries where safety is paramount, such as surgery, nuclear energy and aviation," Maxwell said. "In the fire service, we’ve used checklists for years at fire scenes, but this is the first time the concept has been applied to improve outcomes on medical aid calls."
More than 75 percent of the nearly 20,000 emergency responses in Fire District 1 last year were for medical aid. All Fire District 1 firefighters are certified as either emergency medical technicians or paramedics.
“We strive to provide the best care possible when people call 9-1-1 with a medical emergency,” said Ed Widdis, fire chief. “These EMS checklists are a new tool to assure that the highest quality of care is consistently provided. That is what we are all about.”
Fire District 1’s cardiac arrest survival rate of nearly 50 percent is one of the best in the nation and well above the national average of about 10 percent, as measured using internationally recognized standards.
Fire District 1 is the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in Snohomish County, with full-time staffing at 12 fire stations. The department serves nearly 200,000 residents in unincorporated south Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace.