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January 5, 1998

Opinion

A critical decision must be made

  A critical decision must be made by the voters in the election on Feb. 3, 1998: a decision to continue supporting Medic One. Medic One is a multiple tiered program that starts with you, the person on the street. Knowledge of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by the citizen is the first link in the chain of survival provided by Medic One. The next link is provided by the dispatch centers who give telephone instructions on how to do CPR and dispatch the fire and paramedic units. The third link is your local fire department. Firefighters arrive at the scene to provide early defibrillation for cardiac arrest patients and other emergency medical care. The paramedics then arrive to give life saving medications and transport to the emergency room.
  
   This program works so well, that 50 percent of the people who have their heart go into ventricular fibrillation in King county are saved by the Medic One system. This is the highest survival rate in the nation. Your local fire department also receives funding from the Medic One program to support the provision of basic life support services, provided by the firefighters in the aid car. In 1996 Duvall-KCFD #45 responded to 519 emergency medical incidents, but lost $110,000 (13% of the annual budget) in Medic One funding for 1998, due to the Nov. levy failure. This has forced a reduction in day time staffing by one chief officer and no deposit of funds to the equipment replacement fund. The levy that you will be voting on is a continuation of a tax that has supported Medic One since 1977. The four per thousand increase is to fund strategic growth issues, such as adding medic units.
   In my ten years with Duvall-KCFD #45, I have been part of the Medic One system on many occasions when we brought life back to a patient. Because of Medic One, you have the best emergency medical services program in the nation. The choice is yours.
   Bud Backer, Acting Fire Chief,
   Duvall-KCFD #45