Clark County Fire District 5 experiences 20 percent jump in call volumes

Video courtesy Clark County Fire District 5

Officials believe data identifies the need for emergency personnel to bolster safety

VANCOUVER – Clark County Fire District 5 (CCFD5) has always worked diligently to answer the district residents’ emergency calls, but in the last few years, those calls are coming in at unprecedented levels. Recent data shows that since 2019, emergency calls from the 94,000 residents CCFD5 serves have increased over 20 percent.

“The numbers are stunning but not surprising,” stated Roy Rhine, chair of the Board of Fire Commissioners. “In times of economic uncertainty, people struggle from increasing challenges, many of which cause extreme stress that can lead to accidents or a rise in medical emergencies.”

CCFD5 receives service from the Vancouver Fire Department through a cooperative agreement. Amidst this surge in the community’s need, the Vancouver Fire Department is responding with the same number of firefighters as 15 years ago. Fire facilities are aging, needing renovations, seismic upgrades, and added space for additional firefighters, training opportunities, and equipment.

“We are committed to serving our community as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Vancouver Fire Chief Brennan Blue said. “As call volumes continue to rise, we are challenged to meet our adopted response time metrics.”

To meet these needs, CCFD5 is asking voters for a fire levy “lid lift” from $1.01 to $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value during the August 2 primary election. If approved, the $0.24 lid lift would cost the owner of a $400,000 home $8 per month ($96 per year). Voters in the city of Vancouver approved a $0.50 per $1,000 AV in February of 2022.

Funding would hire three additional firefighters, including a paramedic, at Station 11 serving the Orchards-Sifton area. The new station and positions will help reduce emergency response times district-wide. Other station improvements include seismic upgrades for firefighter and community safety. These improvements will help maintain CCFD5’s risk rating, which is linked to what homeowners pay in insurance premiums.

Clark County Fire District 5 contracts with the Vancouver Fire Department to provide fire and life safety services to approximately 94,000 people over 36 square miles. In 2021, firefighters responded to almost 7,000 calls for service in CCFD5, a 20.8 percent increase in just three years. CCFD5 has been a leader in the county for improving the quality of emergency services, and health and safety through its public education and training programs. More information on CCFD5 can be found on its website

Information provided by Clark County Fire District 5.

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