Alternative EMS Response Programs

GRACE Community Paramedics

Community paramedics provide support for people who frequently call 911 for emergent and non-emergent issues. After a person has made several 911 calls, community paramedics begin working to connect them with services that can better meet their needs. For people with complex situations, Ground Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) Intensive Case Managers work alongside community paramedics offering more long-term support and coordinated care. Together, they may make connections to medical and behavioral health care, accompany clients to appointments, and help manage their overall care.

The Community Paramedic program most frequently serves people who are dealing with complex medical issues, substance abuse, mental illness, complications related to aging, disability, fall risks, and/or homelessness.

The benefit of the Community Paramedic Program is two-fold: people are connected to medical and social services that better meet their needs and it creates capacity for the Fire Department to more quickly respond to immediate emergencies.

WCEMS Transportation Van Program

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Whatcom County Transportation Van Program was developed. This service provided limited transportation services for those who were COVID-19 positive or had been exposed to COVID-19 and had to quarantine. The van, staffed by EMTs, served as a solution for individuals in need of transportation who did not need an ambulance ride but still needed transportation in a COVID-safe way. When not transporting people, the EMTs who staffed the van provided support at Lighthouse Mission Ministry's Basecamp. As the program developed and the need for COVID-19 transportation changed, the van provided rides for folks to healthcare appointments around town and other transportation needs. The Transportation Van Program has now been transferred to the Whatcom County Response Systems Division to further develop the availability and scope of the non-emergency Transportation Program.

GRACE Team Community Paramedics

GRACE Community Paramedics smiling in front of Bellingham Fire Department

Click the image for more information about Community Paramedics and the collaboration between multiple organizations across Whatcom County to find solutions for high utilizers of the 911 system with the Ground Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) Program at

WCEMS Transportation Program

WCEMS transportation van in front of the Isolation and Quarantine Facility