Area residents invited to stop by a local fire station or attend a Coffee with the Chief and share their concerns
BRUSH PRAIRIE — Fire Chief Scott Sorenson wants to hear from community members and learn why voters did not approve a fire levy lid lift in the August election. The lid lift would have funded additional personnel to respond to higher call volumes and reduce response times.
“We heard voters, and as a result, we need to plan a path forward,” Fire Chief Sorenson said. “We have always delivered projects we promised on time and on budget. This vote was a surprise to us. I welcome the opportunity to meet with residents and learn more about their concerns with our latest funding request.”
Fire Chief Sorenson will be available Tuesdays at the following stations in-person at 9 a.m. and at 7 p.m. He will also be available each date at 11 a.m. via Zoom. (Find the Zoom link at www.fire3.org)
- Sept. 26 at Station 31, 17718 NE 159th St. in Brush Prairie
- Oct. 3 at Station 32, 21503 NE 227th Ave. in Battle Ground
- Oct. 10 at Station 33, 18209 NE 259th St. in Battle Ground
- Oct. 17 at Station 34, 24812 NE Rawson Rd. in Brush Prairie
- Oct. 24 at Station 35, 505 SW First St. in Battle Ground
He will also be available by appointment or at a Coffee with the Chief on the following dates:
- Monday, October 2, at 11 a.m. at Blue Castle Coffee, 802 SE 14th Ave.
- Monday, November 6, at 11 a.m. at Founder’s Mercantile and Coffee, 317 E. Main St.
- Monday, December 4, at 11 a.m. at Devs Coffee Bar Battle Ground, 316 E. Main St.
In August, Clark County Fire District 3 asked voters for a fire levy lid lift to improve the safety of the community and its firefighters. The fire district responded to 4,917 calls in 2022 – of which 73 percent were for emergency medical services (EMS). Higher call volumes are leading to longer response times.
The levy lid lift would have hired additional personnel to have three-person engine companies respond and meet industry best safety practices for residents. The current staffing model of two-person engine companies prevents firefighters from entering buildings to begin rescue operations unless another engine company is on scene. This delays response times in critical emergencies.
The lid lift would have also funded station improvements to allow for quicker response times in the Rawson Road/Elkhorn/Summer Hill areas, replace aging apparatus, and fund technical training for firefighters. Currently, Fire District 3 relies on mutual aid for special rescue services which takes longer to arrive.
The levy lid lift failure may result in reduced staffing. Other cuts may include not replacing apparatus and medical equipment and eliminating technical training for firefighters. These funding decisions are still being discussed by the Board of Fire Commissioners.
“We need help and it’s hard for us to say that,” Chief Sorenson said. “However, I would be doing a disservice to our community and my position as fire chief if I didn’t.”
To schedule an appointment with Fire Chief Scott Sorenson, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 989-7375.
Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire and life safety services to 46,000 people in east Clark County, including the city of Battle Ground. Fifty-seven full-time and 10 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4,917 calls in 2022. 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.
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