After a successful ballot initiative campaign by Vancouver, WA Local 452 members, city voters cast their ballots to fund the resources needed to meet the increasing demand for fire and emergency medical service calls. Proposition 2 was approved with nearly 53% of the vote in a February special election.
“We really appreciate all of the support we received from city leaders and citizens,” says Local 452 President Ryan Reese. “The money generated from this levy will allow us to hire new fire fighters and emergency medical service personnel, which will improve response times right away. We will also be able to replace outdated fire stations and apparatus.”
Proposition 2 will increase the city’s regular property tax levy by $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in 2023. The increase is expected to generate an extra $15 million annually and will be used for fire department resources.
The money has already been slated for several critical needs, including:
- Five additional Full Time Equivalent (FTE) fire captains, 11 fire medics, 24 fire fighters and support staff who will staff one new and two existing paramedic squad apparatus and one new ladder truck on a 24/7 shift schedule
- One new squad apparatus and one ladder truck
- Four captains and nine fire fighters at Fire Station 11 (9606 N.E. 130th Ave. – now under construction) on a permanent basis beginning in 2025, consistent with the interlocal agreement with Fire District 5
- Replacement of Fire Station 3 (1110 N. Devine Rd.) and Fire Station 6 (3216 N.E. 112th Ave.)
- Seismic improvements to and expansion and renovation of Fire Station 4 (6701 N.E. 147th Ave.), Fire Station 5 (7110 N.E. 63rd St.) and Fire Station 8 (213 N.E. 120th Ave.)
- Necessary administrative costs in other departments to support investments outlined above
- Additional operating, maintenance, vehicle and capital expenses to provide enhanced fire and emergency services as determined by the Vancouver City Council