StoryKing County officials today proclaimed the week of May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week in King County.
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 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. “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.”
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 53 King County Sheriff’s deputies, who often arrive first to emergency calls, now carry AEDs in their vehicles and are trained in their use.
“Thanks to the innovators who launched this lifesaving system, and the thousands who have contributed to its ongoing achievements over the past 40 years, our Medic One/EMS system is admired throughout the world,” said Executive Constantine.
“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.”
“Many residents of King County owe their lives to the work done by EMS staff that is proudly part of a system that is known nationally and internationally,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “They are the men and women you hope never to meet ‘on the job,’ but all County citizens are confident in putting our lives in their hands when an emergency occurs.”
WHEREAS, the American College of Emergency Physicians recognizes the week of May 20-26, 2012, 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 42nd 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, Medic One has implemented the new cardiac and stroke care protocols developed through the Washington State Department of Health; 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 50 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 20 to 26, 2012, as
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK
in King County in recognition of the value and the accomplishments of our emergency medical services providers.
DATED this twenty-first day of May, 2012.