Dr. Leonard Cobb, one of the founders of Seattle Fire Department’s acclaimed Medic One Program, was honored with a “Pioneers of Paramedicine” Lifetime Achievement Award last weekend in Los Angeles.
In the late 1960’s, in partnership with the late Gordon Vickery who was the Chief of the Seattle Fire Department, Dr. Cobb conducted a study to determine whether lives could be saved with pre-hospital care and whether non-physicians could provide high quality care with remote physician guidance. The Seattle Fire Department’s Medic One Program began in 1970 when the first group of firefighters were trained as paramedics in cooperation with Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington.
Since then, Seattle’s Medic One Program has become world famous due to the training, dedication and first-rate pre-hospital emergency patient care paramedics deliver within the community. The Medic One system expanded and now provides paramedic services throughout King County.
Medic One directly provides the City of Seattle with Advanced Life Support activities that, in the past, could only be performed by licensed physicians. The Department responds to approximately 28,000 Basic Life Support (BLS) alarms and 25,000 Advanced Life Support (ALS) alarms per year. In addition to these alarms, the paramedics respond on all working fires, hazardous materials and rescue responses.
Dr. Cobb was honored, along with Eugene Nagel, MD, J. Michael Criley, MD, and Walter Graf, MD, as the four founding fathers of paramedic programs. They will be part of the “Pioneers of Paramedicine” exhibit at the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum.
The “Pioneers of Paramedicine” is a national program created by the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association Board of Directors to recognize and honor individuals whose lives and accomplishments exemplify the courage, independence and spirit of innovation that helped shape the development of modern emergency medical services in the United States in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In addition to annual recognition, the project will include a video interview series and a permanent exhibit at the museum’s future home. For more information about the award, visit http://www.pioneersofparamedicine.org.