Public meeting held to discuss adding EMS levy to August ballot

Public meeting held to discuss adding EMS levy to August ballot

Benton County residents are encouraged to give their feedback at a meeting Tuesday night, regarding a levy that could impact how fast emergency crews respond to calls.

The Board of Fire Commissioners need to decide whether or not an EMS levy will be placed on the August ballot. The levy would fund the purchase, outfitting, and staffing of two new ambulances.

Firefighters said response times are too long because they rely on aid from neighboring agencies. Fire officials said two new ambulances would help cut back on response times by seven minutes.

“We shouldn’t have to wait for the care we need,” said Dawn Sawyer, Benton County resident.

Sawyer said it took emergency responders more than 20 minutes to arrive when her husband cracked his rib after falling on ice.

The first of three public meetings will be held Tuesday at the Rancho Reata Station on South Bermuda Road in Kennewick. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

The next two meetings will be in April.

— Tuesday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. – Finley, Station 120, 30004 S. Finley Road, Kennewick
— Tuesday, April 17 at 9 a.m. – Fire District Headquarters, 7511 West Arrowhead Avenue, Kennewick

In 2017, the fire district responded to 1,516 emergencies. They said 55 percent of those where EMS related.

NEWS RELEASE: Waiting a long time for an ambulance in Benton County Fire District #1 could be over. The Board of Fire…

Posted by Benton County Fire District #1 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018