EMS Accounts for 64 Percent of All Emergencies
The Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Board of Fire Commissioners voted unanimously to place a levy renewal on the ballot for emergency medical service (EMS). Voters are being asked to renew the EMS levy during the August 3 Primary Election for the same rate and time period they previously approved in 2015.
“EMS is the emergency service our community relies on most,” said Fire Chief John Oliver. “Sixty-four percent of our emergency calls are for this service, and that number is increasing.”
In 2020, EMS accounted for 64 percent of all CKFR’s 8,827 emergency calls. 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.
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 provide 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 from the time 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.
More information about the EMS levy renewal can be found on the Fire District’s website at www.ckfr.org. Fire Chief John Oliver also is available to answer questions at (360) 447-3566 or [email protected].