Bellevue's Medic One service turned 35 this month, and the city will celebrate the anniversary with a reception at City Hall, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
Refreshments and cake will be served and speakers are scheduled around noon. Medical equipment, both past and present, are on display.
"It is truly amazing that a program with such humble beginnings has grown to what is now considered one of the best emergency medical services systems in both the country and possibly the world," said Bellevue Fire Chief Mario Treviño.
"We are all very lucky to live, work, and play in a city where we are assured of the best possible emergency medical care whenever it becomes necessary, simply by dialing 9-1-1," the chief added. "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the pioneers and dedicated staff whose efforts over the years have made this possible."
Medic One was introduced to Bellevue in 1972. We may take it for granted that when life is at stake, firefighters trained in advanced life-saving techniques will arrive in a medic unit loaded with defibrillators and more. But the concept was revolutionary in the early '70s.
Bellevue, then a quiet suburb, worked with Seattle's existing program to become a national leader in emergency medical care. Firefighters trained to become paramedics at Harborview Medical Center, then returned to Bellevue to begin the service here. The first medic ambulance was a small RV paramedics overhauled.
Medic One is a countywide public service organization, supported by a tax levy since 1979. The six-year levy is up for renewal on the general election ballot scheduled for Nov. 6.
Bellevue is one of six Medic One agencies in the county that provide advanced life support before and during a trip to the hospital. All the agencies operate under the auspices of the Seattle/King County Medic One system.
The Bellevue Fire Department operates two paramedic units within the city, along with one in Issaquah and another in North Bend. The department has 37 trained paramedics who assist on nearly 12,000 medical calls per year.
Residents and community leaders made major personal commitments to establish the service in Bellevue.
Dave McAllister, the Bellevue fire chief in 1972, took out a second mortgage on his home to front the money for the double-wide trailer that became Bellevue's Medic One headquarters. A group of women in the Somerset neighborhood formed the Somerset Women for Medic One in 1974 and raised money for equipment with bridge tournament fundraisers.
Return to News Release Index