King County Honors National Emergency Medical Services Week

King County has one of the highest cardiac arrest survival rates in the nation and is a leader in medical emergency practices.


May 20-26 is National Emergency Medical Services Week and the King County Council added its proclamation in honor of services here.

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.

The joint proclamation by the Metropolitan King County Council and Executive Dow Constantine is in conjunction with the national programs recognizing the federal Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973. Locally, the proclamation highlights King County’s cardiac arrest survival rate, which recently reached the 50-percent mark, the best in the world. In comparison, the survival rate in Los Angeles is 7 percent, New York is 5 percent and Chicago is 3 percent.

“Our emergency medical professionals are standing by 24 hours a day to respond to any crisis,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who serves as vice chair of the King County Board of Health and sponsored the proclamation and reperesents unincorporated Woodinville. “Thanks in large part to their dedication and expertise, and to the innovative regional partnership that operates Medic One, King County is considered one of the best places in the world to survive a heart attack.”

In 2011, answered 2,416 medical emergency calls, 76% of the total calls to the fire district, according to David Weed. community services officer.

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.

“The secret of our success is strong partnerships with a common goal: continually improving our ability to save lives, and measuring our performance along the way to know what works and what we can do better,” said Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, King County Emergency Medical Services Medical Director. “We're all fortunate to live in a community that shares such a deep commitment to excellence in survival from cardiac arrest.”


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