Welcome to Cowlitz County Fire District #6
On August 2, 2016 Cowlitz County Fire District 6 will be asking the voters to approve
a levy lid lift on their fire taxes. Cowlitz County Fire District 6 believes that having an ambulance available to the citizens of the district is vital. In the past, we have had summer temporary Wildland Firefighters that would go to other areas to help battle wildland fires. This year due to staffing issues, we opted to shut down this program
and hire 3 temporary Firefighter/EMT’s to keep the ambulance in service.
Typically, the ambulance runs with 1 career firefighter/paramedic and 1 volunteer firefighter/EMT. With volunteer staffing levels at an all-time low, filling the volunteer slot on the ambulance is nearly impossible. Currently, we have only 4 volunteer EMT’s that live within the district. With the limited funds available, this is only a temporary solution to get us through the summer. Within the past 14 months there have been over 30 times we have had to pay overtime to our paramedics or temporary employees to keep the ambulance in service for the community. Without a transporting ambulance within Fire District 6 an ambulance response to a medical emergency would be drastically delayed. Fire District 6 has not seen a levy increase in over 50 years.
The current fire levy rate for Cowlitz County Fire District 6 is $0.42, which is the lowest rate in Cowlitz County. Fire District 7 (Cougar) holds the second lowest levy rate of $1.08; a difference of $0.66. Fire District 7 provides no ambulance transportation and consists of volunteers only. In comparison with a similar town and population, Kalama (Fire District 5) holds a levy rate of $1.47; a difference of $1.05. Kalama does provide a transporting ambulance with over 2 times the career staff and respond to a lesser amount of calls. We are asking for a levy lid lift to bring the current levy rate to $1.20 to fund the hiring of 3 fulltime, firefighter/EMTs. With this, we will be able to keep our current fire rating, which will keep the citizens of District 6 from paying higher homeowner insurance rates and keep the medic unit staffed to continue the level of service that the citizens of District 6 have come to expect and deserve. District 6 is the only fire department in Cowlitz County offering a transporting ambulance service solely dependent on volunteer staffing. In order for this department to grow and provide a future response that is forever increasing, we will be relying on this levy lid lift. We hope to have your support in August!