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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Gallery of King County paramedics in action

King County Medic One serves all of south King County with 7 medic units based in:

Auburn -- M6 Kent -- M7 & M11
Seatac -- M4 Renton -- M5
Federal Way -- M8 Black Diamond -- M12

Each medic unit is designed to serve as an "Mobile Emergency Room". Equipped with cardiac monitoring devices, advanced airway tools and a wide range of medications, a paramedic can often times make the difference between life and death to a critically ill or injured patient.


defibrillating a patient King County paramedics "defibrillate" or shock a patient who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

Studies at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center have proven that early citizen CPR and defibrillation increase the chances that a patient will survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

Learn more about Citizen CPR


treating a child from a near-drowing Paramedic and Medical Services Officer (MSO) Tom Gudmestad examines a young patient suffering from a near-drowning.

Each Shift has an MSO that oversees the operation of all 6 medic units and responds on calls to assist paramedics on multiple patient incidents, such as major automobile accidents.


paramedics only respond to life-threatening injuries King County paramedics respond only to life threatning illnesses or critical injuries.

As a part of a tiered response system, medic units are dispatched based on the report received by the communications center. As an example a medic unit would not respond to a call for a broken arm in order to be available for a critical trauma patient like the one here that requires respiratory assistance.

Learn more about the EMS Tiered Response System (2010 EMS Annual Report, page 8.)


paramedics work in teams Paramedics in King County as a rule work in teams of two medics per unit.

But sometimes things get so busy that a team will split in order to respond to multiple incidents involving critically ill patients. King County Medic One works very closely with local fire departments as a part of the EMS system. paramedics work closely with firefighters to assist with patient care as pictured here.


treating a child from a near-drowing Paramedic Lee Frykolm has inserted a breathing tube into a critically ill patient's airway. There is no such thing as typical shift, so this scene may be repeated many times during the day.

treating a child from a near-drowing Paramedics Sylvia Feder and Carol Sandlin examine an elderly patient complaining of chest pain.