King County EMS Sets Forward Course

The proposed levy rate of 33.5 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation means the average homeowner will pay approximately $107 a year in 2014 to fund its services.

King County, Wash.'s Emergency Medical Services, one of the country's best EMS services, has released the Medic One/EMS 2014-2019 Strategic Plan to show county executives and Seattle-area residents how it plans to operate for the next six years.. The plan is available at www.kingcounty.gov/health/ems

Developed during the past nine months, this plan contains a description of programs and services the system will provide and also a financial road map to implement the recommendations.

The Medic One/EMS system has achieved the highest U.S. reported survival rate in treating out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients, 52 percent. It is funded with a six -year EMS levy that will expire Dec. 31, 2013, which required creation of the new strategic plan and a new levy rate to fund the services. The proposed levy rate of 33.5 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation means the average homeowner will pay approximately $107 a year in 2014, according to the document.

Also, the plan endorses:

  • Maintaining the current number of medic units during the next levy period
  • Fully funding eligible Advanced Life Support, or paramedic, costs
  • Continuing the contribution to support Basic Life Support ("first responders")
  • Programs that specifically address BLS demand and support BLS' role in regional decision-making
  • A budget of $695 million over six years to maintain current level of service and meet future demands

The levy will be on the ballot during 2013 in either the primary or the general election.

Most U.S. jurisdictions' survival rates are around 10 percent, the plan states.

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