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Fire District 3 seeks renewal, hike of Emergency Medical Services levy

Clallam County Fire District No. 3 will ask voters to renew the existing Emergency Medical Service levy, which includes paramedics.

The paramedic program started in 1982, and the fire district has been to the voters asking to renew the EMS levy only once since its inception 28 years ago.

Our current 2009 EMS rate collects a little more than 27 cents per thousand, and the fire district is asking the voters to raise the levy rate to 50 cents per thousand. This is an increase of $23 per $100,000 asessed valuation on the homeowners’ property tax.

In 2009, Fire District No. 3’s EMS program operates at a cost of $2,996,765, while the EMS levy collects $1,216,456. This is a deficit of $1,780,309 that is supported from the fire district’s maintenance and operation budget.  

In 2000, when our last EMS levy was passed, the medical 9-1-1 calls for the year totaled 2,465. In 2008, the fire district responded to 4,346 medical 9-1-1 calls. That is an increase of 57 percent for medical 9-1-1 responses since 2000. 

For those of you who have received medical care recently, you well know what health care costs run, and there are no exceptions for this fire district.

In 2000, the Washington Survey & Rating Bureau graded Fire District No. 3 as an 8A for fire protection, which equates to a cost of approximately $657 per $100,000 assessed valuation for home insurance. 

This year, the fire district received a new grade of 6, which is somewhere around $500 per $100,000. For county residents outside the Sequim city limits, this is a $157 savings in fire insurance expense per home (depending on the insurance carrier). Staffing a third fire station in Blyn contributed to this improved grading.

Asking homeowners for an additional $23 per hundred thousand seems like a wise investment just based on the finances alone.
 
Stephen S. Vogel
Fire Chief
Clallam County Fire District No. 3
323 N. Fifth Ave., Sequim
683-4242 ext. 114
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