Renew levy asks East County Fire Rescue

first_imgVoters will have a chance to decide whether to continue financing emergency medical services from East County Fire & Rescue in the November election. ECF&R serves a 60-square-mile unincorporated area north and east of Camas and Washougal. Commissioners are asking voters to preserve a property tax levy that funds its ambulance service. If voters approve Proposition No. 1, the levy would continue at its current rate of 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value for six more years starting in 2015. The district suffered significant budget cuts in recent years as home values in the service area decreased during the recession. Most of the district’s crew members work on a volunteer basis.Keeping the revenue stream in place would help the district raise enough money to continue staffing paramedic responders and periodically replace ambulances and other aging equipment, commissioners say. The district also says part of the money would go toward offsetting fuel costs and continuing to put crews through training while offering CPR and first aid training opportunities for the community.In a statement supporting the ballot measure, representatives of ECF&R write that the levy helps to provide ambulance service at a lower cost than private companies offer.“Funds generated will allow East County Fire & Rescue to not bill for EMS response,” they said. “Rapid response of a local ambulance based within the community improves patient outcomes and keeps our community safe.”last_img

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