Fall City voters will decide whether to merge fire department with Eastside Fire & Rescue, District 10

The King County Fire Protection District 27 Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution to merge Fire Districts 27 and 10 that will  be placed on the February 12, 2019 special election ballot.

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).  If the merger is approved, Fall City Fire District 27 would become part of EF&R

According to a press release, a task force of elected officials – including fire department administrators, 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.

Per the release, the Task Force’s entire 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 measures
  • Daily staffing levels guaranteed with expanded access to a dedicated training division and incident command support
  • Preservation of the community volunteer firefighter program

Fire District 27 and Fire District 10 said they have worked collaboratively since the inception of Eastside Fire and Rescue in 1999 to meet the emergency services needs of the region and 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.

Longtime Fall City Firefighter Patrick LeDoux said, “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 opportunities for advancement, and access to specialized equipment and training opportunities. This merger allows employees to serve Fall City even better, while preserving the rich history and tradition the community is accustomed to.”

Proponents of the merger say 77% of District 27’s taxpayers will see a decrease, amounting to a $300,000 savings. The current Maintenance of Operation levy that funds the district would be replaced by a fire benefit charge.

Proponents also say Fall City residents will see an increased service level, increasing to a 24-hour a day, [guaranteed] three-person staffing model – up from the current two-person model; a dedicated training division; community liaison officer; specialized operational response; access to specialize equipment; and a Fire Marshalls Division with fire inspectors.

All current Fall City Fire employees would retain their positions and the “Fall City” identity would remain on the fire station and trucks.

The February 12th ballot initiative needs a simple majority to pass.

 

Fall City Fire Station

Comments

  1. George Robertson says

    I moved to Fall City in the summer of 1973 being drawn to this small community by the beauty of the river and surrounding mountains that has the look and feel of a rural atmosphere. Over the years with all the population growth in King County our small community has seen the city of Snoqualmie to East and the city of Sammamish to west with unpresented growth and population expansion, I’m sure either one of those city’s would jump at the change to incorporate Fall City and gain our tax base and change our land use rules. Throughout the last 45 years that I’ve lived here Fall City has always had a volunteer Fire Dept. and I might add it has been outstanding doing a very good job, I see no need to move control, or change our Fire Dept. into another large district, it works just fine as is. If we vote to move control of our fire service, it means the small community we live in now would become a much smaller voting base in the larger district and we will lose our locale voice in what happen with our fire service. In my opinion unincorporated Fall City would move one step closer to being taken over by one of the nearby cities.
    George Robertson

    • Debi sanchez says

      Thank you!!!!’n exactly!👍😊

    • George,
      Your fear of losing community is understandable, but take some more time considering the facts instead of fears. This is a move to protect that response from FD #27 that you have found to be satisfactory. See the next comment below for an explanation of how that is applicable. Eastside Fire and Rescue and the Board of FD #27 aren’t trying to change your land use laws or “steal” your tax revenue. The other partners of Eastside Fire and Rescue would be supporting increased service and greater sustainability of fire and emergency services to Fall City at a net savings to the residents of the voter base. Fall City will stay Fall City; we all love the area. We just want to help each other as regional partners. Fall City will stay on the side of the rigs just like it did as “Fire District 27”. Continue to stay involved in your community and hopefully when this measure goes to the poles it passes and you can see the services become ever stronger, and the small town feeling of Fall City not changed. Either way, happy holidays.

  2. WHY IS MERGING FIRE DISTRICTS A GOOD OPTION?

    Fire Districts 10 and 27 are surrounded by cities. When a city annexes (incorporates) a portion of a fire district, the district becomes smaller and they then lose that income from property tax revenue. As Issaquah and Sammamish expand their city’s footprint, the surrounding fire districts shrink, decreasing their revenue.
    In 2010, Fire District 27 lost approximately $300,000 in funding because the City of Sammamish incorporated the neighborhoods of Montaine and Aldarra Estates. Information Here
    In 2016, Fire District 10 lost the large area of Klahanie to the City of Sammamish. Information Here
    In an effort to stabilize their revenue sources and forecasting, Fire District 10 initiated conversations with Fire District 27 in an effort that provided stability and financial survivability for both entities. Fire District 10 surrounds Fire District 27, so combining makes perfect sense! Map Available Here

    Reference: fallcityyes.com

  3. Seems like a great idea. Combined resources mean Fall City Firefighters will benefit from a larger, more robust training program and access to more equipment. Both departments already work hand-in-hand on medical emergencies, fires and motor vehicle accidents in Fall City, Preston and near Trossachs. ESFR already provides shop maintenance services on a contract basis for Fall City. A combined organization brings new opportunities for Fall City Firefighters, increased service levels for residents – all while reducing costs for more people. A merger is good for both departments and for the residents.

  4. Jon Wiseman says

    I’m speaking in favor of this being moved to an election (it was pulled off the ballot due to an organized opposition group playing politics with safety) – my opinion. Fire Districts are the voice of those of us living in unincorporated areas. We need a single unified fire district for better representation and service. Too bad when the ego takes over and it becomes more about a name. The fire department should be measured by the service it provides and it’s cost effectiveness to tax payers. As a Fire District 38 resident I pay less then my Fall City neighbors for better service. Better service is not a fire truck showing up with the name you like. It’s the one that shows up with effective staffing (3 firefighters) and well trained personnel. It’s about doing our job right.

    As a local firefighter and former rep for the local firefighters union, I’ve had the opportunity to advocate for these types of mergers. We barely failed combing District 38 with 10 twice. This merger between 27 and 10 saves the majority money. Yes, there are a few industrial property owners (who don’t even live in District 27) that will pay more, but the majority save. Service improves for all. Isn’t this what we should expect from our local government and employees?

    As citizens, we can do more. Demand the best from the local fire departments in the valley here. Demand that they work together better in all areas. This is not about our Grandparents legacy, it’s about the future and knowing we have improved things for our kids… either way your paying for it all ready! A vote of the people is in order.

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