Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Medic One Foundation 25th Anniversary Luncheon
May 25, 2000

Thank you, Tracy, for those thoughtful words.

Happy Birthday Medic One Foundation!

Our state is fortunate to be the birthplace of what has become a benchmark worldwide for excellence in emergency response. Since its inception Medic One's paramedic training program has been replicated in nearly every major city and has had a profound impact on all of us.

My story's a little different from Tracy's. A large studio audience was watching when Tracy needed Medic One. Thank goodness a Medic One paramedic was there in the audience. I'm not sure I would have wanted that, but it would have been nice if just one person was around!

Here's what happened. It was a Saturday. I was cleaning the skylights on the roof. Even though it had been raining and the wood deck was slippery. Well, X leads to Y as we all know. And before I knew it, I'm slam on my back on the wooden deck in excruciating pain. I couldn't move.

So I just laid there hoping some neighbor would walk by and see me, and I could call out to them. But a good hour passed and no one came. And I was getting shaky and everything. So I crawled on my stomach around the house up the porch stairs into the house. I called my doctor. I called my friends and one of them was smart enough to call Medic One.

And when that team showed up, everything changed for the better. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were deliberate, quick, sure of themselves, with the grace of cougars. They strapped me onto a board, calmed me. I knew I was in good hands.

As I said, Medic One's paramedic training has been replicated in every major city. Paramedic teams have also come to my office at the Capital. Twice. And every time they came I was impressed with their professionalism, the way they evaluated the situation, made decisions and acted on those decisions. And on one of those occasions, a life was saved.

We all know someone who has needed the services of Medic One, and I think we have all heard similar stories of compassion and professionalism. I personally want to thank all the paramedics and other emergency technicians for the tremendous impact their daily work has on our lives.

So it is no amazement that Medic One receives $1 to 2 million dollars every year in unsolicited donations from grateful survivors and their families. The Medic One Foundation puts this money back into training and improving emergency assistance. All of this takes place through a remarkable joint effort by the Seattle Fire Department, Harborview Medical Center, and the University of Washington Medical School.

I am pleased to be a part of this celebration honoring the founders of this wonderful institution: Former Fire Chief Gordon Vickery, Dr. Leonard Cobb, and Dr. Michael Copass. Their vision has benefited untold thousands of lives for 25 years, and will continue to do so long into the future. Congratulations to you all.

And thank you all for making Washington a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family.
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