Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County mark National EMS Week

May 24, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County officials marked May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

National Emergency Medical Services Week is commemorated to publicize safety and honor the dedication of responders on the front lines of emergency medical care.

In a joint proclamation, King County Council members and King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the people and partnerships among 30 fire departments, six paramedic providers, five EMS dispatch centers and 19 hospitals in Medic One.

Introduced in 1970, King County Emergency Medical Services is a model nationwide for delivery of life-saving emergency responder services.

The proclamation highlights the cardiac arrest survival rate in King County. The figure recently reached the 50-percent mark, the best in the world. In comparison, the survival rate in Los Angeles is 7 percent, New York City is 5 percent and Chicago is 3 percent.

“Our emergency medical professionals are standing by 24 hours a day to respond to any crisis,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, proclamation sponsor and Issaquah representative, said in a statement. “Thanks in large part to their dedication and expertise, and to the innovative regional partnership that operates Medic One, King County is considered one of the best places in the world to survive a heart attack.”

The cardiac arrest survival success is due in large part to the work of emergency responders, plus training to local citizens in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the public availability of automated external defibrillators.

“Thanks to the innovators who launched this lifesaving system, and the thousands who have contributed to its ongoing achievements over the past 40 years, our Medic One/EMS system is admired throughout the world,” Constantine said in a statement.

King County deploys more than 100 AEDs in county facilities, and 80 King County Sheriff’s Office deputies carry AEDs in patrol vehicles.

“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.”

EFR — formed in 1999 and headquartered in Issaquah — serves Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire protection districts 10 and 38.

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