Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Call response varies for emergency responders

Cathlamet and Grays River are the only two fire departments in Wahkiakum County that have transporting licenses, which means they are the only departments with ambulances to transport people to the hospital. They are responsible for providing that service to all the communities on their respective sides of KM.

To be clear, they may not be the first to respond, but they are the ones who will be responsible for getting anyone in an emergent situation to the hospital.

There was a recent question about the number of calls, and if the departments were making more trips to the hospital.

Jodie Tawater of the Cathlamet Fire Department said that she hasn’t noticed a big uptick of general calls, but they are preparing for a possible increase in covid-19 calls with numbers expected to peak again in September.

The department averages about one call a day, she said. Sometimes this is a call every day, and sometimes this means that they might go days without any calls, followed by one day with five.

Every call varies. It could be as simple as a lift assist, but sometimes it’s more serious. One call might take an hour, sometimes two if the ambulance has to transport the individual all the way to Longview.

Kevin Maki of Grays River Fire Department said that they are averaging 80-100 calls each year. He hadn’t tracked numbers recently, but didn’t believe there had been a rise in calls.

The fire departments and Emergency Medical Services in Wahkiakum County always need more volunteers. There are many ways to help out, whether it is driving an ambulance, firefighting, or training to be an EMT. Contact your local fire department for more information.


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