Crucial EMS levy request looms for Clark County Fire District 6

Daily operations at Fire District 6 are funded through two levies paid through property taxes
Photo courtesy Clark County Fire District 6

Daily operations at Fire District 6 are funded through two levies paid through property taxes

VANCOUVER – It’s no mystery that paramedics and emergency medical technicians have been very busy the last two years. Clark County Fire District 6 claims “we were the first fire agency to treat COVID-19 patients in Clark County, and that’s a small percentage of overall medical calls to which we respond. Out of the 8,353 calls that we responded to in 2021, a whopping 87% were emergency medical calls.’’ 

The growth rate for Clark County has increased about 19 percent since 2010. To provide some perspective of that growth, in 2017 Fire District 6 responded to 7,114 emergency calls, versus 8,353 last year. Fire District 6 officials expect that number to grow in 2022 and beyond.

This is not a new levy

Daily operations at Fire District 6 are funded through two levies paid through property taxes. The amounts are capped at the voter-approved rates of $1.50 for Fire and $0.50 cents for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) per $1,000 of assessed property value. Over time these levy rates fall as property values rise to limit the Fire District to the same amount of revenue per year, plus a one percent increase allowed by law. The EMS Levy levels have dropped to $0.34 per $1,000 of assessed value. Fire District 6 is asking to restore it to the original amount of $0.45 per $1,000 of assessed value. By law it could ask for $0.50, but “we’re only going to ask for what we need,’’ read a Fire District 6 statement. “We receive no funding through the County.’’

EMS levy will expire if not renewed by voters

Voters last renewed funding for EMS program in 2016, and that EMS levy will expire at the end of the year if not approved. The EMS levy represents roughly 25 percent of Fire District 6’s entire annual budget.

How would the money be spent?

The EMS levy helps Fire District 6 provide Basic Life Support with Firefighter/EMTs and Advanced Life Support with paramedics. Funds are used for emergency personnel, training and certifications, maintenance, medical equipment, first aid supplies, personal protection equipment (especially for COVID-19), and equipment replacement. 

Didn’t you just ask for a levy lid-lift?

This can be confusing, because several fire districts and departments in Clark County have recently requested levy lid lifts this year. District 6 residents will only be voting on this EMS Levy request, and the election is set for Aug. 2, 2022.

Information provided by Clark County Fire District 6.


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