South County Fire asking voters to approve levy

Edmonds residents will not see it on their ballots, however
May 18, 2018
Courtesy of: South Snohomish County Fire

More than 85 percent of all emergency calls for South County Fire, which serves Edmonds, are for emergency medical service (EMS). And those EMS services, through the newly created fire authority, are funded by a levy paid through property taxes.

Currently, Lynnwood and Fire District 1 have two separate EMS levies paid to South County Fire. The fire authority is asking voters to replace those two levies during the August primary election with a single EMS levy.

The replacement EMS levy will appear on the primary election ballot for voters within the boundaries of the Regional Fire Authority, encompassing the city of Lynnwood and unincorporated communities, including Esperance.

The levy will not be on the ballot in Edmonds, Brier and Mountlake Terrace, as they contract with the Fire Authority to provide emergency services, paying a fee supported by their city taxes.

The rate would be capped at 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the same rate previously approved by voters in both jurisdictions.

Emergency call volumes have increased 34 percent in the last five years for homes and businesses in South County Fire, said spokeswoman Leslie Hynes. More calls mean added costs for personnel, apparatus, maintenance, medical supplies and equipment.

Funding also will be used to purchase and staff another ambulance to respond during peak call times. Renewing an EMS levy of 50 cents will maintain emergency service levels and continue both basic and advanced life support for fire authority residents, Hynes said.

To learn more, the public is invited EMS Week Open House to learn about these life-saving services 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Lynnwood Civic Center Fire Station, 18800 44th Avenue W.

Activities include a teddy bear clinic, where children can bring in stuffed animals to receive EMS care from firefighters, medic unit and fire engine tours, first aid training and information on safe and healthy aging.

Fire Chief Bruce Stedman is available to answer questions or speak to community groups about the replacement levy. Contact his office at 425-551-1250 or bstedman@southsnofire.org.

 

 

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