District Chief Scott Sorenson also thanks voters for approving Fire Levy Lid Lift
BRUSH PRAIRIE— Clark County Fire District 3 officials are sending a thank you to residents and businesses for personally and financially supporting the agency. Community support means five firefighters and paramedics are currently in training and will help to maintain and improve emergency service levels for the Fire District, including Hockinson, Brush Prairie, Heisson, Venersborg, and the city of Battle Ground. Three are new positions, and two will replace retiring employees.
“Our community is growing rapidly, and call volumes are increasing as a result,” said Fire Chief Scott Sorenson. “These positions are important to meet that demand for emergency services, and we are grateful our community recognizes this.”
Call volumes increased 12.6 percent for Clark County Fire District 3 in 2021. Emergency medical service accounted for almost 77.2 percent of all calls received.
Station 35 in the city limits of Battle Ground is Fire District 3’s busiest station accounting for 59.8 percent of all emergency responses in 2021. Station 31 in Brush Prairie comes in second at 897 calls, or just over 19 percent.
Back-to-back calls are increasing for the Fire District, as well. These are calls that come in at the same time requiring a fire district to have multiple units available to respond if one is already dispatched.
Growth is driving this issue, and the Fire District is concerned that new development pays its fair share.
“Historically, existing taxpayers have invested in one of the best emergency service programs in the county,” said Chief Sorenson. “New growth is driving up the need for service, and we’re working hard to keep up with this demand. Maintaining our fire levy covers daily operations. Bonds will be necessary for capital items, like fire stations and emergency apparatus.”
Fire District 3 and other agencies in Clark County have approached the Clark County Council to pass modest impact fees to help fund these capital costs. The Council voted down the measure in 2021.
Impact fees are a charge paid to a local government by developers for new housing or commercial developments to help offset the embedded cost of services that are required. Ultimately, impact fees help reduce the amount of funding required from taxpayers.
Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire and life safety services to 43,000 people in east Clark County, including Hockinson, Brush Prairie, Heisson, Venersborg, and the City of Battle Ground. Fifty-six full-time and 10 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4713 calls in 2021. Fire District 3 operates under a balanced budget and has a long history of passing its financial and accountability audits by the state. More information on Fire District 3 can be found on its website www.fire3.org.
Information provided by Clark County Fire District 3.