The Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Board of Fire Commissioners will meet to consider a resolution placing a levy renewal for emergency medical service (EMS) on the August 3 Primary Election ballot. The request would ask the Central Kitsap community to renew funding for the program at the same rate and time period as was approved in 2015.
The meeting will take place on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend virtually. Meeting access information is available on CKFR’s website at ckfrdev721.wpengine.com.
The Fire District funds its emergency medical program through a 6-year EMS levy of $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed property. Voters last approved the EMS levy in 2015 and it will expire at the end of the year. Since that time, call volumes have increased 24 percent for EMS-related incidents alone. In 2020, EMS accounted for 64 percent of all CKFR’s 8,827 emergency calls.
The EMS levy funds both Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) care to residents. Basic Life Support (BLS) uses nationally certified Emergency Medical Technicians for non-critical calls, such as first aid, basic CPR, and administering some medications. ALS is the highest level of care available delivered in the field by Paramedics who are nationally certified through 1,800 hours of life-saving training. These medical professionals can start IVs, surgical procedures to clear airways and stop serious bleeding, and advanced cardiac life support.
CKFR runs one BLS and three ALS transport units 24-hours a day. This means residents receive the highest level of care possible when paramedics arrive on scene and all the way to the hospital. The total cost of the EMS levy for the owner of a $400,000 home (an average for the area) is $200 per year for a 24-hour paramedic response.
“It’s a fact that community support through the EMS levy makes saving lives possible,” said Fire Chief John Oliver. “We are grateful that our community sees the value of the program.”
Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) has provided fire and emergency medical service (EMS) to residents and businesses since 1942. Today, the Fire District is one of the largest emergency providers in the county, responding to over 8,800 emergency calls per year. CKFR operates under a balanced budget, and has passed all its financial and accountability audits with the State of Washington. More information about CKFR is available at ckfrdev721.wpengine.com