Medic One

Thurston County Medic One was the first countywide, paramedic tiered Emergency Medical Service in the nation when crews pulled their first shifts on Aug. 4, 1974.

This month marks the 45 years that Medic One paramedics and emergency medical technicians have served citizens of Thurston County.

This tiering system allows for the most appropriate EMS resources to be dispatched to those in need of emergent medical care throughout Thurston County, according to the county.

Thurston County Medic One has now grown to support seven medic units stationed throughout the county. They are located in Yelm, Rochester, Tumwater, Olympia and Lacey.

The units help support the 126 licensed aid units deployed throughout the 12 fire agencies in Thurston County.

“Thurston County is fortunate to have one of the best Emergency Medical Systems in the country,” said Emergency Medical Services Council Chairwoman Margaret McPhee. “Our system works cooperatively from the time a call is received, arrival of a medic unit, to treatment and then to transport if necessary. Our well-trained paramedics are prepared for broken bones, seizures, car accidents, heart attacks and more.”

County Commissioner Gary Edwards, EMSC member for the Board of County Commissioners said, “I am very proud to be part of this county where we are putting our citizens lives first and making sure our first responders are trained at the highest level to respond to emergencies … I thank each and every one of our Medic One staff for the sacrifices they make to ensure Thurston County citizens and visitors are taken care of.” 


The Medic One levy was approved in 1973, established in 1974 and was annually and continuously renewed by voters until 1999 when the Thurston County voters approved a permanent Thurston County Medic One levy. The permanent levy passed with 76.01 percent approval, which was the highest approval percentage since 1985..

Thurston County Medic One does not charge a transport fee for paramedic services and never has.

By the Numbers

In 2018, Thurston County Medic One paramedics responded to 10,192 total calls and aid units (EMTs and first responders) responded to 24,209 calls for service. This totaled to 34,401 EMS calls for service in Thurston County in 2018.

Medic One programs also trained 4,188 Thurston County citizens in CPR last year. As of July 1, Medic One had already surpassed those trained in 2018, and is on track to double the number of citizens trained in CPR.

“Medic One would like to sincerely thank all of the citizens in Thurston County for their continued support over the past 45 years and would like to equally thank all of the 700-plus hard-working and talented responders serving Thurston County,” Medic One wrote in a press release.

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