Why is there an EMS Levy on my August 2020 Ballot?
At West Mason Fire, we have a deep appreciation for
our volunteers and the sacrifices they make to serve our community. We strive to provide an environment that supports their desire to volunteer while balancing other work and family commitments. First responder health and wellness is a high priority, because without responders, we can’t help our neighbors in their times of need. One key component to a first responder health and wellness program is preventing burnout and fatigue, especially among volunteers who are juggling volunteer time with other family and career commitments outside the fire district.
This is where the EMS Levy comes in.
A permanent EMS Levy of $0.50/$1000 of assessed valuation will provide West Mason Fire with funding necessary to hire regular paid staff, trained and certified in emergency medical response.
We are living in an era where the training and time requirements of volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians has never been greater, and keeping up with the day-to-day responsibilities such as scheduled maintenance, cleaning, and lawn care can be overly burdensome to the dedicated responders who are trying to balance it all while also fulfilling their home and work responsibilities.
We have been successful in recruitment and retention of dedicated, trained volunteers despite a nationwide decrease of fire service volunteers, but it isn’t enough. The next step in the puzzle of preserving the tradition of volunteerism while moving into a sustainable future is to transition to a combination paid/volunteer staffing model. This may sound counterintuitive to preserving the tradition of volunteerism, but paid staff are able to take on the day-to-day responsibilities and provide additional consistency in leadership and oversight to the volunteers while bolstering response capability and increasing opportunities for generating non-tax-based revenue. This shared load of burden allows the volunteers to dedicate their time to training and response – and then return home to their families and friends when the job is done.
To learn more about why the EMS Levy is important to the future of the district, visit https://www.westmasonfire.org/on-the-ballot, call Chief Welander or any of the Fire Commissioners at (360) 426-7343, join us for Open Office Hours this coming Saturday, July 25th or join us tonight at 6 p.m. for our regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners. Event and meeting information can be found here: https://www.westmasonfire.org/upcoming-events.
We look forward to hearing from you!