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2026-2031 Medic One/EMS levy planning process

The Medic One/EMS system serving Seattle and King County is known worldwide for its excellent medical results. By simply dialing 9-1-1, all residents have immediate access to the best possible medical care, regardless of location, circumstances, or time of day. For nearly 50 years, our commitment to science, innovation and partnerships has brought about advances in medicine, training and delivery, resulting in thousands of lives saved, and an EMS program that is second to none.

Our regional Medic One/EMS system is primarily funded by a countywide, voter-approved EMS levy (per RCW 84.52.069) which will expire December 31, 2025. To ensure continued emergency medical services in 2026 and beyond, the region is undertaking an extensive planning process to collaboratively develop a Strategic Plan and financing plan (levy) for King County voters to renew in 2025. The all-inclusive process brings together leaders and decision-makers from throughout the region and partners representing all parts of the system to assess the needs of the system and develop recommendations to direct the system into the future.

EMS Advisory Task Force

Overseeing the creation and vetting of the Medic One/EMS levy is the EMS Advisory Task Force, which is charged with reviewing and endorsing broad policy decisions for the EMS system. This 20-body group consists of elected officials from cities and fire districts. Representing those who administer, authorize and are served by the system, the Task Force is vital for determining the right proposal, and the financial implications it may have, for their jurisdictions.

EMS Advisory Task Force contact:
Helen Chatalas, 206-263-8560; helen.chatalas@kingcounty.gov


Download the 2026-2031 Medic One/EMS Levy Reauthorization Calendar (103 Kb)

Subcommitees

The Medic One/EMS levy planning process will use four subcommittees to conduct program and cost analyses needed to develop the next EMS Strategic Plan and levy. Chaired by an EMS Advisory Task Force member and comprised of subject matter experts, the groups meet monthly to determine the programs needed to ensure the region can continue to provide its world-class emergency medical service. The subcommittees are broken into the four basic program areas of:

  • Advanced Life Support (ALS, or paramedics);
  • Basic Life Support (BLS, or EMTs/first responders);
  • Regional Services/Strategic Initiatives (or core support services and pilots); and
  • Finance

Paramedics respond to calls for critical or life-threatening injuries and illness, providing advanced emergency care such as airway control, heart pacing and the dispensing of medicine. They receive over 2,500 hours of intensive training through the University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center Paramedic Training Program and must complete continuing medical education to maintain certification.

Topics to be addressed by this Subcommittee include identifying current/ future/new service needs, and number of units needed; establishing the cost of each unit; developing the financial plan and refining costs; and addressing new challenges and future needs.

ALS Subcommittee Chair: TBD

ALS Subcommittee contact:
Helen Chatalas, 206-263-8560; helen.chatalas@kingcounty.gov

BLS personnel are the “first responders” to an incident and provide immediate medical care, such as advanced first aid and CPR/AED to stabilize the patient. Staffed by firefighters trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), BLS units arrive at the scene in about five minutes (on average). It handles 100% of the service requests and contributes significantly to the success of the Medic One/EMS system.

Topics to be addressed by this Subcommittee include determining the BLS allocation and its distribution formula; determining next steps for programs that help agencies meet emerging needs; and looking at challenges and future needs.

BLS Subcommittee Chair: TBD

BLS Subcommittee contact:
Helen Chatalas, 206-263-8560; helen.chatalas@kingcounty.gov

Regional Services are the core programs that support the key elements of the system, ensuring the uniformity and standardization of the direct services provided by the system’s partners. This sort of regional coordination ensures pre-hospital patient care is delivered the same high standards across the region, regional policies and practices that reflect the diversity of needs are maintained, and local area service delivery is balanced with centralized interests.

Topics to be addressed by this Subcommittee include assessing the types of programs and strategies needed to meet current, future and emergent challenges and needs of our partners and system.

Regional Services Subcommittee Chair: TBD

Regional Services Subcommittee contact:
Helen Chatalas, 206-263-8560; helen.chatalas@kingcounty.gov

The Finance Subcommittee will assess the programmatic recommendations developed by the other subcommittees and provide financial advice, viewing the proposals as a whole package, rather than independent program areas. In addition, the Subcommittee will review economic forecasts, determine indices for inflating costs, and develop financial policies. Another role is to provide financial perspective and advice to the Task Force to ensure the EMS system remains financially sound in the next levy period, and help make decisions about the levy.

Finance Subcommittee Chair: TBD

Finance Subcommittee contact:
Helen Chatalas, 206-263-8560; helen.chatalas@kingcounty.gov

See meeting agenda for February 22, 2024 (119 Kb)

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