King County proclaims Emergency Medical Services Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Doug Locken, Shoreline Fire Medic
Photo courtesy Shoreline Fire

King 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.

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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