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Benton County Fire District #1
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EMS Levy on August 2018 ballot

EMS accounts for 55% of all our emergency calls.

Call volumes continue to increase steadily for our fire district. We finished 2017 with 1,516 emergency calls – a 10% increase over the year before. In 2017, 55 percent of these calls are for medical emergencies. Currently, 90% of all our EMS calls require patient transportation to area hospitals for treatment.

 

The issue is that we do not own any ambulances, nor can we fund those purchases out of existing revenue. We rely on neighboring fire agencies to transport patients. This is considered “mutual aid” and may take longer to reach you in an emergency. It also impacts the resources our mutual aid partners have to serve their communities. We want to provide better service for people in our fire district, and be a good partner to the other agencies around us.

 

A local EMS program will reduce ambulance response times and improve patient care.

 

Our fire district will ask voters to approve a levy for Emergency Medical Service on the August 2018 ballot. The rate is capped at 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value (or $100 per year/ $8.33 per month for a $200,000 home). If approved by voters, funding would be used to purchase, outfit and staff two ambulances to respond to medical calls. This would reduce response times by as much as seven minutes when a patient needs immediate care. If you have any questions, Fire Chief Lonnie Click is available at or (509) 737-0911.

 

PUBLIC MEETINGS

If you have questions about the EMS Levy on the ballot, or would like to learn more about it there are two upcoming meetings:

 

Friday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m.

Fire Training Center

1811A South Ely Street

Kennewick WA 99337

 

Tuesday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m. (Fire Training Center)

 

The Board held three public meetings this spring to provide information about the proposal and to receive input from community members. Meetings were held on March 20, April 3, and April 17.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to frequently asked questions about the EMS levy can be found here.

 

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF:

 

We have received a few calls from community members with questions about fire district funding. People are under the impression that fire districts can access the Public Safety Sales Tax money held by Benton County. This is not true; that money is only allowed for police and the court system.

 

Funding for emergency services provided by fire districts comes from property taxes that are capped at $1.50 for fire and 50 cents for EMS (per $1,000 of assessed value). This funding must be voter approved, which is why fire district levies show up on your election ballot. (For example, Benton County Fire District #1 is asking voters to approve an EMS levy this election.)

 

If you have any questions about our fire district, funding or emergency services, please feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you,

 

Lonnie Click, Fire Chief

 

NEWSLETTER

Benton One NEWS – Summer 2018

 

http://www.bentonone.org/news-information.aspx

 

IN THE NEWS

KNDU TV - July 17, 2018

Two local fire chiefs share personal stories in support of proposed bond, levy

http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/38669049/two-local-fire-chiefs-share-personal-stories-in-support-of-proposed-bond

 

KIMA TV - July 17, 2018

Heat, fire danger plagues Eastern Washington areas

http://kimatv.com/news/local/weather-07-17-2018

 

KNDU TV - June 13, 2018
BCFD#1 asks voters to consider levy to improve EMS response times

http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/38419634/bcfd1-asks-voters-to-consider-levy-to-improve-ems-response-times)

Tri-City Herald - May 24, 2018
Letter: Fire district EMS levy critical for safety
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article211875054.html
 
Tri-City Herald – April 28, 2018
Looking for a reason to vote for Benton fire district levy? Start with your family
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article209945129.html
 
Tri-City Herald – April 20, 2018
2 Benton County fire districts turn to voters for ambulances, station
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article209491009.html
 
KNDU TV – April 17, 2018
Benton Co. Fire District #1 levy to be on August primary ballot
http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/37979447/benton-co-fire-district-1-levy-to-be-on-august-primary-ballot
 
KEPR TV – April 16, 2018
Local fire district wants levy to fund ambulances, reduce response times
http://keprtv.com/news/local/local-fire-district-wants-levy-to-fund-ambulances-reduce-response-times

Tri-City Herald – March 21, 2018
Letter: Supporting fire district levies a matter of safety
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article206274789.html

Tri-City Herald - March 20, 2018
Fire Commissioners to consider EMS levy for Benton County Fire District #1 
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/editorials/article205952649.html  
 
Tri-City Herald - January 30, 2018
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article197474394.html
Letter: Fire district seeks input on EMS levy
 
Tri-City Herald - December 4, 2017
There are holes in area’s ambulance coverage; Benton fire district wants to fix that
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article187756848.html
 
Tri-City Herald - October 7, 2017
Letter: Up to voters to support Benton County Fire District 1
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article178337771.html
Letter: Up to voters to support Benton County Fire District 1
 
KEPR TV - June 11, 2017
http://keprtv.com/news/local/benton-county-fire-district-1-looks-to-reduce-response-times-through-levy
Benton County Fire District #1 looks to reduce response times through levy
 
Tri-City Herald - March 5, 2017
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article136609768.html
Benton County Fire District 1 plans for the future
 
KEPR TV - February 23, 2017
http://keprtv.com/news/local/fire-departments-take-action-to-fight-increases-in-emergency-calls
Fire departments take action to fight increases in emergency calls
 
KNDU TV- February 22, 2017
http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/34577998/benton-1-plans-for-the-future-of-emergency-services-delivery
Benton 1 plans for the future of emergency services

MEDIA RELEASES

Meetings Planned for Ballot Measures Funding Emergency Services - July 17, 2018 

EMS improves patient care and ambulance response times – June 13, 2018

EMS Week May 20-26 Celebrates Life - May 16, 2018

Fire Commissioners to consider EMS levy for Benton County Fire District #1 - March 13, 2018

Benton County Fire District #1 to start slip, trip and fall prevention program - February 16, 2018

Benton One: Improving Communication with Taxpayers - November 13, 2017

Benton One: Sharing Resources saves money and improves efficiencies for tax payers - September 5, 2017

Grants, partnerships and volunteers make tax dollars stretch further - July 14, 2017

Fire chief says that ambulance response times need to improve - June 8, 2017 

Benton 1 plans for the future of emergency services delivery - February 22, 2017

Fire Commissioners to consider EMS levy for Benton County Fire District #1 - March 13, 2018 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

As more information on this proposal is available, we'll share it here and on our Facebook page.