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King County proclaims Emergency Medical Services Week



King County officials today proclaimed the week of May 19-25 as Emergency Medical Services Week in King County.

“King County is once again leading the way with our world-class EMS – Emergency Medical Services,” Councilmember Kathy Lambert, co-sponsor of the proclamation, “The dedication of the many people who make up our EMS teams is worth celebrating. EMS is saving lives and we are proud of their service.”

“This week recognizes the vital work of our emergency medical first responders for being on the ‘front-line,’” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, co-sponsor of the proclamation. “It also recognizes their commitment to the CPR training they give to citizens throughout the region who assist them on the front-line.”

“Prompt response and life-saving action is one of the the hallmarks of our internationally renowned EMS system,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “This recognition pales in comparison to the thanks they receive from the people who are served by the men and women who are part of the EMS program.”

The proclamation honors the people and partnership among 30 fire departments, six paramedic providers, five EMS dispatch centers and 19 hospitals in King County that work together to save lives as Medic One. Introduced in 1970, King County Emergency Medical Services has become a model nationwide for delivery of lifesaving first-responder services.

“Region-wide collaboration has created one of the best cardiac arrest survival rates in the nation. I’m proud of our system that yields results and thank all those who have made it happen,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, chair of the King County Board of Health.

“I continue to be impressed by the work of our first responders in King County,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “In addition to the progress made with improved access to AED’s, I also believe it is important to continue promoting a healthy lifestyle and routine cardiovascular checkups.”

“The quality of King County’s emergency medical services system is truly unique,” said Council Vice Chair Julia Patterson. “I’m glad that the Council took time today to recognize the medical professionals that serve our communities when we need them most.”

The joint proclamation by the Metropolitan King County Council and Executive Dow Constantine is in conjunction with national programs recognizing the federal Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973. Locally, the proclamation highlights King County’s cardiac arrest survival rate, which has climbed to the 52 percent mark, the best in the world. In comparison, the survival rate in New York is 5 percent and Chicago’s is 3 percent.

“In their times of need, all King County residents, no matter where they are in the county, have access to internationally-acclaimed, high-quality emergency medical services (EMS),” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “We thank the EMS men and women who save lives every day and the voters who fund this system.”

“King County’s emergency providers are known nationally for their success at saving lives,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “The residents of King County are fortunate to have such dedicated and well trained professionals working every day to continue that success.”

“Our successful EMS system is a result of unprecedented regional cooperation and strong leadership by our EMS providers,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “I salute them for their incredible work.”

The cardiac arrest survival success is due in large part to the work of emergency medical first responders as well as the training they give to local citizens in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the public availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). King County now deploys more than 100 AEDs in county facilities, and 80 King County Sheriff’s deputies, who often arrive first to emergency calls, now carry AEDs in their vehicles and are trained in their use.

“Thousands of men and women across the county deserve our deepest gratitude for their heroic work to save lives,” said Executive Constantine. “Thanks to them, King County is known around the world for the excellence of our EMS/Medic One system.”

“We set the standard for cardiac arrest survival, based on a remarkable combination of people and partners that continues to grow stronger. I thank everyone for their contributions to the success of our EMS/Medic One system,” said Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, King County Emergency Medical Services Medical Director. 



WHEREAS, the American College of Emergency Physicians recognizes the week of May 19-25, 2013, as Emergency Medical Services Week in celebration of the federal Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973; and

WHEREAS, Emergency Medical Services are among the most important services provided to King County residents and visitors; and

WHEREAS, King County emergency medical services were a model for the federal act, and Medic One is celebrating the 43rd anniversary of delivering emergency medical care to the residents and visitors throughout the region; and

WHEREAS, rapid access to effective emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury; and

WHEREAS, King County Medic One teams operate through regional cross-jurisdictional and collaborative partnerships to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and

WHEREAS, the EMS physicians, nurses, medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators, administrators and others, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills; and

WHEREAS, King County’s regional EMS partnership contributes to achieving the nation’s best cardiac arrest survival rate, now up to 52 percent, and the region’s reputation as the best place in the world to survive a heart attack;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the King County Executive and the Metropolitan King County Council, do hereby proclaim the week of May 19 to 25, 2013, as


in King County in recognition of the value and the accomplishments of our emergency medical services providers.

DATED this twentieth day of May, 2013.

Image: EMS recognition group photo
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