Fire levy lid lift proposal would fund additional personnel to respond to growing demand for service
BRUSH PRAIRIE — Clark County Fire District 3 is asking voters for a fire levy lid lift on the August 1, 2023, primary election ballot. The purpose of the lid lift is to improve the safety of the community and its firefighters. Ballots begin arriving in mailboxes July 14.
In 2022, Fire District 3 responded to 4,917 calls – of which 73 percent were for emergency medical service (EMS). The population has grown 26 percent in the last 10 years and this growth is driving higher call volumes.
“We don’t control growth, but we have to serve it,” Fire Chief Scott Sorenson said. “We require additional personnel to keep up with safety requirements to meet the emergency service needs of our community.”
The levy lid lift would hire additional personnel to respond to higher call volumes and meet industry best practices. The fire district would be able to fund three-person engine companies. 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 can delay response times.
The lid lift would also fund:
- Renovation of Station 34 in the Rawson Road/Elkhorn/Summer Hill area to provide full-time 24-hour staffing to allow for quicker response times
- Replacement of a fire engine, ambulance and other smaller equipment that have reached the end of their useful lives
- Technical training (swift water, high angles, and ropes) to decrease the reliance on outside agency help and improve efficiency districtwide
The fire levy lid lift is $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed property value and will cost an additional $12.08 per month or $145 per year for the owner of a $500,000 home.
Ballots must be postmarked by August 1, 2023, or placed in a ballot box by 8 p.m. on Election Day to count.
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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