Voters to decide in November on six-year levy for Medic One services

Monday, June 17, 2013

Shoreline Medic One van
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Voters will have the opportunity to reauthorize funding for the regional system of paramedic and ambulance services with today’s unanimous adoption by the Metropolitan King County Council to place a six-year Medic One and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) levy on the November general election ballot.

“Medic One saves lives, and now voters can decide whether to reinvest in this service,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “My thanks to the County Council and all the cities involved for putting this important question on the ballot.”

Founded in 1970 as a Seattle Fire Department program, Medic One was an innovator in bringing physician-level assistance to cardiac victims at the scene of a heart attack. Medic One was expanded in 1979 into a countywide levy-funded program that serves all of King County.

The Medic One/EMS system uses a tiered response model to help provide patients with medical care by the most appropriate care provider. The system relies heavily upon coordinated partnerships with fire departments, paramedic agencies, dispatch centers and hospitals to deliver services.

“This proposal is a model of regional cooperation and partnerships throughout King County,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “I thank the EMS Advisory Task Force for its work in proposing this renewed levy program.”

If adopted, the measure would assess a levy of up to $0.335 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That is the rate recommended in the Medic One/EMS 2014-2019 Strategic Plan developed by a 19-member EMS Advisory Task Force and over 100 stakeholders representing all parts of the regional system – paramedic providers, fire agencies, hospitals, emergency doctors, communications centers, and labor.

Their proposal would cost the owner of a $320,000 home approximately $107 a year.

As required by state law, the nine cities in the county with populations of more than 50,000 must support placement of the countywide measure on the ballot. Those cities are Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, Shoreline and Seattle.

The Shoreline City Council voted unanimously on April 15, 2013, to have the Medic One/EMS levy placed on the November ballot.


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