Welcome to Cowlitz County Fire District #6
Notice of Public Hearing
Castle Rock, WA_ The Board of Commissioners of Fire District 6 will hold a Public Hearing on Monday October 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM. The meeting will be held at fire station 61, 146 A Street SW, Castle Rock, WA. The objective of the hearing is to dicscuss the 2015 operating Budget that will lead the Board of Commissioners in the calendar year.
Why do we need to pass a levy and increase the funding for our fire department?
Here are a few very important reasons.
While our personnel are trained to Washington State’s minimum standards. Those are just that, minimum. Today’s emergency responders are asked to face many different types of situations that require specific training to complete the tasks safely. Modern vehicle extrication, rope/swift water rescue, building construction/evaluation, and complex fire tactics are just a few. The fire district has had very little if any money available for many years to send responders to these types of training. A yes vote will help train district staff to a higher level and allow them to do their jobs safer.
Vehicle Replacement Fund:
The cost of fire apparatus is rising. Modern safety features and rising federal standard are making the costs rise at rate far exceeding the ability of the district to continue to make large purchases using only reserve funds. A fund was established in which a certain amount of money was to be set aside each year to fund future replacements. That fund has not been able to be maintained because the funding was needed for operational cost. A yes vote will allow the district to contribute to this fund, and be able to successfully plan and execute a vehicle replacement plan.
The district needs to replace various types of essential equipment. This would include, firefighting turnout gear, breathing apparatus, advanced cardiac and medical care equipment. All of these items are extremely costly and in recent years, their replacement was only able to happen with the help of grants and other outside funding. A yes vote will allow the district fund these future purchases without relying on any outside funding sources.
Wages and Compensation:
Fire District 6 has the lowest wages for Firefighter Paramedics of any department in Cowlitz County. This makes recruiting and retaining quality employees very difficult. Our local paramedics deserve to be better compensated for the service they provide the district and it’s residents. A yes vote will help the district retain quality and dedicated staff members.
The district’s facilities are aging and are currently in need of repair. The district has no long range plan for capital projects. This is due to the fact that the amount of budget money available for these is very small and the district was trying to maintain its reserves for unforeseen events. This district needs to establish a fund to complete these projects. In conjunction with the fund being created, a long range plan can be established by the district to carry out these projects. A yes vote will allow the district to maintain and evaluate our facilities for future needs.