Community invited to learn more and provide comment
BRUSH PRAIRIE, WASH. — The Clark County Fire District 3 Board of Fire Commissioners will meet April 24 to discuss a resolution to place a fire levy lid lift on the August 1, 2023, primary election ballot. If approved by voters, it would fund additional emergency personnel, station improvements, technical training and equipment replacements.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Station 31, 17718 NE 159th Street, Brush Prairie. You can also attend virtually. A link to the meeting can be found at http://www.fire3.org.
Fire District 3’s population has grown 26 percent in the last 10 years and this growth is driving higher call volumes for emergency services. The fire district responded to 4,917 calls in 2022 – of which 73 percent were for emergency medical service (EMS).
“Our community has grown significantly,” Fire Chief Scott Sorenson said. “This is a safety issue for our residents and emergency personnel. We require more firefighters to keep up with this demand.”
State code requires four firefighters on scene to carry out interior structural fire operations. Currently, the district’s two-person engine companies require another engine company on scene before interior fire operations or rescues can occur. If there is a known rescue situation where immediate action could prevent the loss of life or serious injury, firefighters can take such rescue action if there are at least three firefighters present and equipped to provide emergency assistance or rescue of the team.
If approved by voters, the fire levy lid lift would allow for three-person engine companies, which is the industry best practice for fire districts the size of Fire District 3. This means that rescue operations can be initiated and interior fire operations can start with just one more firefighter arriving in a smaller vehicle, which is more cost-effective.
The lid lift will also fund technical training (swift water, high angles and ropes) to decrease the reliance on outside agency help, which takes longer to reach people in an emergency. It will fund the remodel of Station 34 in the Rawson Road/Elkhorn/Summer Hill area to provide full-time 24-hour staffing to reduce response times. Additionally, the lid lift will replace a fire engine, ambulance and other smaller equipment that have reached the end of their usable lives.
The fire levy lid lift would be $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed property value and cost an additional $12.08 per month or $145 per year for the owner of a $500,000 home.