A Seattle paramedic inserts IV lines into a patient in route to the hospital. Paramedics in King County have earned a reputation for elite training and preparation -- even garnering the tongue-and-cheek moniker 'para-magicians.' Part of that reputation comes from a rigorous 10-month didactic and hands-on training program through the University of Washington. The rest comes frequent exposure they get to treating critical patients, giving them more opportunities to perform difficult procedures like tracheal intubations and IV insertions in patients. That exposure, King officials say, means they are more prepared.

Photo by AARON HALE

A Seattle paramedic inserts IV lines into a patient in route to the hospital. Paramedics in King County have earned a reputation for elite training and preparation -- even garnering the tongue-and-cheek moniker "para-magicians." Part of that reputation comes from a rigorous 10-month didactic and hands-on training program through the University of Washington. The rest comes frequent exposure they get to treating critical patients, giving them more opportunities to perform difficult procedures like tracheal intubations and IV insertions in patients. That exposure, King officials say, means they are more prepared.

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