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On November 5, 2019, voters passed King County Proposition 1 which renewed funding for the Medic One/EMS program with a 6-year, 26.5-cent EMS levy. Following is information about the Medic One/EMS system serving Seattle and King County, and what the levy funds through 2025.

What is Medic One/EMS?

  • Medic One/EMS services are those that you get any time you call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency in King County.
  • It is available to everyone, whatever the medical emergency.
  • By dialing 9-1-1, callers have immediate access to the system and its excellent medical care, regardless of location, circumstances, or time of day.
  • The Medic One program was started in Seattle in the early 1970s.
  • It now serves a region of nearly 2.3 million in population, and responds on average every 2 minutes to a medical emergency.
    • In 2021, firefighter/EMTs responded to more than 225,000 calls in King County.
    • Paramedics responded to more than 45,000 of those calls to provide critical medical help.
  • With Medic One, cardiac arrest victims here are 2 to 3 times more likely to survive, compared to other cities. In 2021, the survival rate for cardiac arrest was 46% throughout the region.

What is a Medic One/EMS Levy? And how much does it cost?

  • The 2020-2025 Medic One/EMS levy is a property tax levy.
  • A property tax levy has supported King County's Medic One/EMS system since 1979.
  • The EMS levy started at a rate of 26.5-cents per $1,000 of assessed value in 2020. An owner of a $500,000 home in the region paid approximately $133 that year for Medic One services.
  • As a homeowner’s assessed value increases, the levy rate decreases. The 2022 levy rate is 24.8-cents per $1,000 AV.

What does the levy fund?

  1. Continuing the current services through 2025.
    • Fully funding Advanced Life Support (ALS, or paramedic) operations with the existing 27 ALS units in service;
    • Partial funding to local fire and emergency response departments for Basic Life Support (referred to as BLS, or “first responders”);
    • Programs that support the critical functions and direct services of the entire Medic One/EMS system; and
    • Initiatives that create efficiencies and system effectiveness.

  2. Enhancing services to meet projected 2020-2025 demands.
    • Programs that modernize existing data and eLearning technology to meet training needs;
    • Reserves and policies that safeguard the system from unforeseen financial risks and service demands; and
    • Promoting a regional approach for Mobile Integrated Healthcare to address community needs.