Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
A man walks past an emergency location mile marker along the BPA Trail at dusk on May 11.

Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror A man walks past an emergency location mile marker along the BPA Trail at dusk on May 11.

Mile markers repainted along BPA Trail for emergency purposes

Markers located every 1/10th of a mile along the 3.6-mile trail.

With a fresh coat of paint, mile markers on Federal Way’s BPA Trail provide peace of mind and assistance during an emergency.

The 911 Emergency Location markers were recently repainted along the BPA (which stands for Bonneville Power Administration) Trail, stretching from S. 324th Street near Celebration Park to SW 356th Street near Madrona Park. The white markers help people quickly identify their location on the 3.6-mile trail to emergency dispatchers, or to report any issues found on the trail.

In 2018, South King Fire and Rescue responded to seven calls along the BPA Trail route, 14 calls in 2019, 11 calls in 2020, and there have been no calls so far this year. Of those calls, the department has responded to nine emergency medical service incidents since 2018.

Parks Director John Hutton said the mile markers have multiple benefits, including the safety of residents.

“They serve a good purpose and give peace of mind,” he said. “If you fell … or had any kind of emergency, mile markers are very helpful because they [first responders] don’t have to guess what section you’re on.”

In addition, the mile markers help the parks department easily locate any reported issues, such as illegal garbage dumps, graffiti, broken glass and other nuisances, he said.

“The markers help us save time and be as efficient as possible,” Hutton said.

The Federal Way Community Parks Department installed locator markers to help pinpoint a person’s location if they have an emergency in June 2017.

Markers are located every one-tenth of a mile along the entire BPA Trail, and fire engines, aid cars and police officers have maps showing the location of each marker. Markers are used like a home address, allowing first responders to accurately navigate to the emergency, according to South King Fire and Rescue.

The City of Federal Way is home to 33 parks and over nine miles of public trails. For more information on local trails and parks, visit cityoffederalway.com/parks.


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Photo courtesy of South King Fire
Screenshot from a fire engine computer map showing the beginning of the BPA Trail.

Photo courtesy of South King Fire Screenshot from a fire engine computer map showing the beginning of the BPA Trail.

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