Heart attack survival rate reaches a record 52 percent in King County

While survival rates for heart attacks in most other parts of the nation hover around 10 percent, your chances of surviving cardiac arrest inKing County reached an all-time high of 52 percent this year, according to a new report released today by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

“Fast response during traumatic events like a heart attack is critical, and these new findings once again affirm the skill of our dispatchers who take 911 calls and the professionals who provide rapid, high-quality emergency care and transport,” said Executive Constantine, who thanked the voters of King County for their long history of support for this service.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Medic One 2012 Annual Report highlights this achievement and other activities that place this EMS/Medic One system among the world’s best. The Executive sent the report today to the Metropolitan King County Council.

In 2011, the EMS system in King County responded to 164,690 calls to 911, including 45,220 for Advanced Life Support (ALS), the mostserious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The average medic unit response time improved slightly to 7.5 minutes.

“Our EMS/Medic One system’s success is built on a constant drive to improve health outcomes for King County residents,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “We continue to raise the bar for patient survival from cardiac arrest, which is one of the most critical measures of success for any EMS/Medic One system.”

The King County EMS/Medic One system is managed by the Emergency

Medical Services Division of Public Health – Seattle & King County, and relies on a close partnership of thousands of professionals with fire departments, paramedic agencies, EMS dispatch centers, and hospitals to provide emergency care and save lives.

To maintain the integrity of this of the world-class system, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Advisory Task Force adopted recommendations this summer for a prospective renewal of the EMS/Medic One levy in 2013. The recommendations will enhance the system’s superior medical training, oversight and improvement; advance the system’s innovative programs and strategies, and regional leadership; and incorporate greater efficiencies throughout the entire EMS/Medic One program.

The recommendations will be forwarded to the County Executive and King County Council by September 15, 2012, and the Strategic Plan will be crafted and submitted to the King County Council by January 1, 2013.

The full EMS 2012 Annual Report is available at


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in King County operates in a coordinated partnership with five dispatch centers, seven paramedic providers, and 30 fire departments.  Funded through a countywide Medic One/EMS Levy, the EMS system utilizes a layered-response system providing a continuum of care for people in need of emergency medical services.

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