Shortly after proposing a February ballot measure to merge the Fall City Fire Department (District 27) with Eastside Fire & Rescue (Fire District 10), District 27 commissioners withdrew the measure citing the need for additional time “to provide accurate and up to date information to the public about the ballot measure proposal.” At that time the district stated it would instead consider the April ballot for the measure.
It was announced today that the measure will now be on the April 23, 2019 ballot. King County Fire District 27 Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to put a merger of Districts 27 and 10 before a vote of the public at their January 23rd meeting.
According to a Fall City Firefighter news release, “a Task Force of elected officials -including fire department administration, community members, and firefighters – worked diligently for over a year evaluating the benefits of moving forward with a consolidation of fire districts and the benefits to the Fall City community.”
The release stated the Task Force’s focus was based on:
- Ensuring the exceptional level of current fire protection and emergency medical services to Fire District 27 are heightened
- Stabilizing funding and cost control that saves money for the community.
- Daily staffing levels guaranteed with 3 career firefighters on duty 24/7/365 with expanded access to a dedicated training division and incident command support
- Preservation of the community volunteer firefighter program
“Fall City Firefighters support a merger of the fire districts because it provides the Fall City community with an increased level of emergency services at a lower overall cost to the community. The merger also provides our firefighters with safer working conditions, increased training opportunities, and access to specialized equipment and resources. This merger allows employees to serve Fall City even better, while preserving the rich history and tradition the community is accustomed to, ” said longtime Fall City Firefighter Patrick LeDoux.
District 27 serves Fall City. District 10 includes unincorporated King County areas of Carnation, Issaquah, Sammamish and Renton and is currently served by Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R).
According to the release, the two districts have worked collaboratively since the inception of Eastside Fire and Rescue in 1999 to meet the emergency services needs of the region and feel combining workforces, a coordinated training division, and an expanded level of daily incident management will improve the service delivery to community members, while enhancing the safety of Fall City firefighters.
With ballot measure approval, the district’s current Maintenance of Operation levy that funds the department would be replaced by a fire benefit charge. Additionally, all current Fall City Fire employees would retain their positions and the “Fall City” identity would remain on the fire station and trucks with a merger.