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On June 26, 2019, the King County Council passed King County Ordinance 18931 placing a 6-year, 26.5-cent Medic One/EMS levy before the voters in the November 5, 2019 general election.

Following is information about the Medic One/EMS system serving Seattle and King County, and what the levy would fund if approved by voters.

What is Medic One/EMS?

  • Medic One/EMS services are those that you get anytime 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 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 over 2 million in population, and responds every 3 minutes to a medical emergency.
    • In 2017, firefighter/EMTs responded to more than 211,000 calls in King County.
    • Paramedics responded to more than 51,000 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 2018, the survival rate for cardiac arrest was 56% throughout the region.

What is a Medic One/EMS Levy?

  • The 2020-2025 Medic One/EMS levy is a proposed property tax levy.
  • The current Medic One/EMS levy expires December 31, 2019.
  • A property tax levy has supported King County's Medic One/EMS system since 1979.
  • King County Proposition 1 will be on the November 5, 2019 ballot and ask voters to renew funding emergency medical services for 2020-2025.

What is the levy rate? How much will it cost?

  • The proposed levy rate is 26.5-cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
  • An owner of a $500,000 home in the region will pay approximately $133 a year for Medic One services.

What will the proposed levy fund?

  1. Continuing the current services through 2020-2025.
    • Fully funded Advanced Life Support (ALS, or paramedic) operations with the current 26 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.
  1. 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.