Enumclaw Fire Seeks More Funding

Published Sunday, February 27, 2022

ENUMCLAW, WASHINGTON

Future Levy Lid Lift Discussion

The Enumclaw Fire Department’s Board of Commissioners will be holding a meeting on March 16, 2022, at 1800 hours, to consider a resolution to place a fire levy lid lift on the August 2, 2022, Primary Election ballot.

All board meetings are open and the public is welcome to attend. It will be held virtually and residents may access the meeting through the Fire District’s website at http://www.enumclawfire.org.

Streamline Agencies

During the Fire Commissioners meeting on September 15, 2021, there was an agenda item that they had a meeting on August 25, 2021, contract for service presentation from Chief Moore from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority (PSRFA) and discussion of a Levy Lid Lift Election and why they need to run one.

As with many smaller departments, merging with a Regional Fire Authority has proved to be very beneficial for all involved, the fire service, its residents, and the Cities that contract with them. It’s a win-win for all. Check out those with the Renton Regional Fire Authority, Puget Sound Fire, Valley Regional Fire Authority, and more. This trend is also happening in eastern Washington but more so here on our side of the mountains.

Growing Pains

It was not long ago when the King County Fire District #28 and the City of Enumclaw Fire Department merged together into one fire agency back in 2011 and there has been a share of growing pains ever since with good and challenging times.

Here are some great strides they have made together in the last few years:

  • EFD Budget passed in 2022
  • Replaced a 21-year old ambulance
  • Sold their 1991 Seagrave Fire Engine to the Buckley Fire Department
  • Demolished one of their Stations (old auxillary building) as it did not meet their current needed

Some of the challenges they currently face:

  • Fast-paced growing City
  • Needs growing faster than funding
  • Need for a levy lid lift to sustain funding back to 2016 levels of $1.50 for every $1,000 assessed value.
  • Current rates are deemed to go back to 2022 levels of $1.36974 per every $1,000 assessed value.

The Department receives revenue from three different sources:

Levy Lid Lifts

The Department’s last levy lid lift (Proposition 1, 6-year levy) was approved by the voters in April of 2016, for a $1.50 per $1,000 property assessed value but they say the funding will be decreased to $1.38 per $1,000 assessed value this year, so they are asking their community to step up and vote for new funding.

In 2012, the Department decided to pull the levy lid lift off the table for voters to approve, due to current economic environments with foreclosures on the rise, though the City was stable and trending ahead of others.

If approved by voters in 2022, funding from the lid lift will hire three additional firefighters who are also qualified EMTs. Emergency medical service accounted for 74% of all emergency calls for the Fire District in 2021

To learn more about Levy Lid Lifts, visit this website: https://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Finance/Revenues/Levy-Lid-Lift.aspx

BLS Allocation

Additionally, the Fire Agency receives $400,053 through the BLS Allocation from Public Health Seattle and King County (2021 figures). This is to help with offsetting the costs of providing EMS services and reimbursements from the EMS Division.

Patient Transports

Revenue also is received from patient transports, which is $839.88 plus $17.24 per mile.

Important Stats

Enumclaw is the gateway to Mount Rainier National Park, one of the State of Washington’s iconic destinations to visit and it sees thousands of visitors annually. The City of Enumclaw is a great place to work/play/visit/live as many have found their way to this beautiful place. Over the years, they have seen their share of numbers grow and stabilize through their populations of residents and visitors.

Based on research, here is a quick breakdown:

2020-2022

  • 2020 | 12,190 population | 2,321 annual fire calls
  • 2022 | 10,669 population | unknown annual fire calls

2010-2019

  • 2010 | 10,669 population | 1,785 annual fire calls
  • 2015 | 11,609 population | 2,324 annual fire calls
  • 2016 | 11,654 population | 2,226 annual fire calls
  • 2017 | 11,784 population | 2,344 annual fire calls
  • 2018 | 11,878 population | 2,534 annual fire calls
  • 2019 | 12,190 population | 2,523 annual fire calls

2000

  • 2000 | 11,093 population | 1,683 annual fire calls

1990

  • 1990 | 7,217 population | 1,119 annual fire calls

Hiring Firefighters Now

Currently, the Enumclaw Fire Department is part of the WA Fire Careers, a group collaboration of seven Western Washington Fire Agencies that are focusing on hiring entry-level firefighters. They have hired three in January of this year, which graduated from the South King Fire Training Consortium Fire Academy. They are still seeking additional firefighters to join their ranks.

If you are interested or know someone who may be a good candidate, refer them to https://wafirecareers.org

Updates

This is a developing story. Please follow us for more great updates on this levy lid lift as more updates are received.

(c) 2022 NW Fire Blog