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Our Medic One/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system provides essential life saving services to the people in Seattle and King County. With an international reputation for innovation and excellence, the King County Medic One/EMS system offers uniform medical care regardless of location, incident circumstances, day of the week, or time of day. It has the highest reported survival rates in the treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients across the nation.

The Medic One/EMS system is funded with a 6-year EMS levy. The current levy rate of $.30 per $1,000 of Assessed Value (AV) was approved by voters of King County in November 2007 and began collection in January 2008. This 30-cent levy rate means that a family of a $400,000 home pays $120 a year for Medic One services.

The current EMS levy expired on December 31, 2013. Therefore, a reauthorization of the EMS levy was necessary to provide a seamless transition into the new levy period. Under state law, the levy can be reauthorized for 6 years, 10 years, or for an indefinite amount of time, at a maximum rate of $.50 per $1,000 AV. Historically, King County has never exceeded $.30 per $1,000 AV, and the average length of each levy has been 6 years.

King County Advisory Task Force

King County Ordinance #15862 created an EMS Advisory Task Force to develop "interjurisdictional agreement on an updated EMS strategic plan and financing package for the next levy funding period." The Task Force worked with EMS Stakeholders to review the needs of the system, and subsequently endorse programmatic policies and a levy rate that the voters of King County can support. Representing those who oversee, authorize and are served by the system, the Task Force is invaluable in determining the right proposal, and the financial implications it may have for their jurisdictions.

The priority of the levy reauthorization process is to ensure Medic One remains an adequately funded, regional tiered system, based on its existing successful medical model, and committed to innovative and science-based programs and strategies that meet the needs and expectations of our changing community. The EMS Advisory Task Force provided a forum for discussing these issues.

  • King County Ordinances 15862 and 17145 creating the EMS Advisory Task Force
  • RCW 84.52.069 allowing for an EMS levy

Subcommittees of the EMS Advisory Task Force

Four subcommittees, representing the Advanced Life Support (ALS), Basic Life Support (BLS), Regional Services (RS) and Finance program areas, were created to complete the bulk of the system program and cost analysis. Recommendations regarding current and projected program needs were generated through these subcommittees and subsequently presented to the EMS Advisory Task Force for review and endorsement.

Each subcommittee of the EMS Advisory Task Force met monthly starting from November 2011 and concluding in June 2012.

Resources

Contact us

If you would like copies of past meeting minutes from the King County Advisory Task Force and/or its subcommittees, please contact Helen Chatalas, Levy Planner, at helen.chatalas@kingcounty.gov, 206-263-8560 or use our online contact form.