Community News

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Anacortes firefighters are now using specific techniques to cut and remove vehicles from around trapped auto crash victims.

Multiple motor vehicle accidents occur throughout the United States and Canada on a daily basis. Due to the high speed and congestion of SR20, as well as multiple high risk intersections around Fidalgo Island and Anacortes, there is an elevated risk for significant motor vehicle collisions. 

Many of these collisions may result in victims becoming entrapped. Anacortes firefighters are now using specific techniques to cut and remove vehicles from around these entrapped victims. These new techniques are designed to ensure the safety of the rescuers and the victims, and to quickly remove those victims.

In order to improve proficiency in these specific extrication techniques, Anacortes Fire Department is currently undergoing an extensive three part vehicle extrication program.  This Program encompasses: vehicle stabilization, electrical system disablement, glass removal, hazard identification and isolation, specific extrication techniques using hydraulic spreaders and cutters (Jaws of Life), and patient care.  

This program is being taught to our firefighters in three modules.  Each module starts with classroom instruction covering a specific set of skills.  The classroom instruction is concluded with video examples of both proper, as well as improper, extrication techniques.  Once the firefighters have an understanding of what is expected, they travel to ALMAC Auto Wrecking located in the Padilla Heights area for hands on application of these extrication techniques.

This training was organized by Lieutenant James Wireman while the instruction is being conducted in-house to save money by Firefighter Don Swain.  Firefighter Swain has experience teaching extrication through his experience where he previously worked as a firefighter at a busy department in Utah.  The Anacortes Fire Department would like to thank ALMAC Auto Wrecking Inc. for donating 18 vehicles and allowing this training to take place in their wrecking yard.  This training would not be possible without their generosity.

The Anacortes Fire Department is committed to delivering the highest level of service to its citizens and takes great pride in its ability to help those in need. “I am proud of the ingenuity and dedication of our Firefighters to passionately serve our community in so many ways, this being one of many examples!”

COVID-19 Cases in Skagit County

5,302 Confirmed Skagit Cases
460-469 Total Cases in ZIP 98221

350 Hospitalizations
74 Deaths
61,181 Fully Vaccinated
68,746 Initial Doses Given


410,195 Confirmed Cases Statewide
24,930 Hospitalizations

5,810 Deaths Statewide
3,637,611 Fully Vaccinated
4,122,446 Initial Doses Given

Updated 5:00 pm, June 17, 2021.

County Map: Confirmed COVID-19 cases by ZIP code in Skagit County. Updated weekly.

Sources: Skagit County Public Health, Washington State Department of Health, New York Times