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THE survival rate from cardiac arrest in King County reached a record 57 percent this year. That same statistic varies wildly in 14 other metropolitan areas, from less than 1 percent in Detroit to 24 percent in Miami. Not one of them comes close to what paramedics and firefighters have given us here.

Voters should renew a six-year $696 million property-tax levy, King County Proposition 1 in the Nov. 5 election, to protect Medic One/Emergency Medical Services and the high standard of care.

The more than 172,000 people countywide who called 911 in 2012 — nearly 48,000 of them in life-threatening situations — know the personnel who respond are expertly trained and capable of saving lives.

The next levy proposes charging property owners at a rate of 33.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s a 11.6 percent increase from the current rate of 30 cents, but overall assessed values have dropped three years in a row. County assessors estimate the owner of a $318,000 residence would pay $107 annually — $3 less than the last levy, when the average home was valued at $368,000.

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King County officials have designed a sensible, bare-bones budget to maintain services for a growing population of nearly 2 million people.

The current levy expires Dec. 31, but demand on the system remains. One in 10 uses Medic One/EMS every year. Responders save lives every three minutes.

Approve King County Proposition 1.

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