On November 7th, voters in the Lake Stevens Fire District will vote on the EMS levy lid lift. Lake Stevens Fire is asking voters in their district to return the levy for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to restore funding for this program. I encourage voters in the Lake Stevens Fire district to vote yes, on this levy.
Lake Stevens is on a growth pattern that will likely last for a long time to come. We are fortunate to have the Lake Stevens Fire staffed with a very experienced chief, a dedicated staff of professional firefighters and EMS personnel both at staff level and in the fire stations overseen by three experienced fire commissioners. Dedication to the community and to the job are exhibited each and every day, 24-7 by these men and women of the Lake Stevens Fire.
So, why do we need to vote on this EMS Levy Lid Lift? In 2016, Lake Stevens Fire responded to 5,655 calls, and 76 percent of which were EMS-related. EMS calls have increased 35 percent alone over the past six years, as have costs for medical supplies, equipment, maintenance, and emergency personnel. Lake Stevens Fire district is allowed a 1 percent revenue increase per year by state law. Obviously, revenue is not keeping up with the demand for service. So, this is the reason that the EMS Levy is on the November General Election ballot. And, the last time voters were asked and approved a 50 cent EMS levy was in 2000.
Again, I cannot stress enough in this request that ALL voters in the Lake Stevens Fire District vote yes and approve the EMS Levy when you return you ballots because funding provides Basic and Advanced Life Support with 14 full-time and part-time firefighters and paramedics responding 24 hours a day. Plus, funding will be used to replace ambulances, maintain apparatus, training and certificates, medical equipment and first aid supplies.
Gary L. O’Rielly