SNO911 Member Collaboration

Snohomish County 911 Collaboration Projects

EMS Joint Taskforce

The mission of the Joint Task Force (JTF) is to make recommendations to the Governance Boards of the three partner agencies (SCFCA, SCEMS and SNO911) regarding future governance and process flows to improve countywide EMS system(s) in ways consistent with state laws, in support of the Medical Program Director for Snohomish County (MPD), and consistent with the following long-term vision for the Snohomish County EMS system:

Greater coordination, alignment, and collaboration strengthens individual
agencies, countywide systems for fire and EMS service delivery and the
development of personnel.

Collaborative Fire & EMS Service Delivery in Snohomish County: A Feasibility Study

Project Background

Rapid population growth and increased demand on services have put significant strain on local government services, with fire and emergency services often among the first to experience these impacts. Fire and EMS providers in Snohomish County currently face rapid population growth in rural areas, geographic proximity that requires frequent inter-reliance of urban and rural fire agencies, and fiscal constraints that strain individual agencies. While Snohomish County fire and EMS agencies have long cooperated in certain functions, there is a desire for agencies to identify opportunities for more effective and efficient service delivery to successfully navigate community changes and scale up to meet demand today and into the future.

Snohomish County 911 has contracted with BERK Consulting on behalf of fire and EMS providers in Snohomish County to begin the process to assess, analyze, and ultimately recommend areas for greater cooperation. Functions and systems to be considered include recruitment, training, equipment purchasing, special teams, and other ideas short of actual consolidation of service delivery. A long-term strategy may vary by functional area and must be agreed to by the independent fire agencies that make up the region.

Support from BERK as an objective third party will be important to gathering and consolidating input from individual agencies via stakeholder interviews. The results of these interviews, as well as targeted research on practices in selected other counties, will be reviewed by the Executive Board of the Snohomish County Fire Chiefs Association and shared transparently with the full Snohomish County fire and EMS community. A subsequent phase of work may focus on the practicalities of governance/decision-making, funding, and implementation of identified opportunities.

Desired Outcomes

Desired outcomes for this phase of work include:

  • A shared understanding of the current state.
  • Consensus around a long-term vision for operating as a more cohesive system of fire/EMS provision in Snohomish County.
  • A summary of potential risks or concerns as well as functions where greater collaboration may be mutually beneficial. This summary may serve as a roadmap for further progress.

A potential future phase of work may include implementation planning for functions identified as ripe for collaboration, including potential structures for governance and decision-making; cost sharing and funding models; and implementation steps.

Project Principles

Given the many stakeholders involved in this project and the sensitivity of the issues being considered, we will ensure that:

  • Leaders of every agency have the opportunity to share their views in a privileged and frank conversation with consultant staff.
  • Work is advanced iteratively and transparently, with a publicly shared Assessment Report and workshop to ensure that the process, discussions, and recommendations can be followed and understood by all partners.


BERK will conduct confidential interviews with representatives from each fire and EMS provider and key partners in Snohomish County. Leadership at each agency will select the appropriate representatives to participate in the interview. See below for interview questions.

To learn from other agencies, we will also conduct a peer review of other models for fire and EMS provider cooperation elsewhere in the country.

We will workshop our findings from the interviews and peer review at a workshop open to all fire and EMS stakeholders in Snohomish County. This summit will occur at the regularly scheduled SNO911 Fire TAC meeting on Wednesday, September 20 from 1 – 3 pm. The Snohomish County Fire Chiefs meeting will also be consolidated with the TAC meeting to bring all stakeholders together.

All findings will be shared on this website.


Interview Protocol


Contact Information