Why should the November Election Ballot include the fire levy?

Dear Editor,

This is why sustaining our staff with our Fire Department (CFR7) is so imperative to keeping Chelan safe...

2009 – CFR7 began responding on EMS calls. MAJOR IMPROVEMENT TO PUBLIC SAFETY.
2012 - CFR7 attempted a levy to fund the budget for additional protection measures for the fire district.
2014 – Carlton Complex Fire burnt 256,108 acres and took 2 lives.
2015 - Catastrophic fires between Okanogan and Chelan burned through near 400,000 acres and took 4 lives combined.
2016 – Performance of a risk analysis displayed the increased demand for emergency services, dwindling numbers and aging volunteers, and the inability to yet achieve the two in two out rule for firefighters, (four must be on scene of structure fires immediately to safely and legally enter the burning homes to fight fire). Because of this, CFR7, with direction from the Board of Commissioners, applied for a SAFER grant from FEMA to provide us with additional aid to help protect our community.  This grant allowed CFR7, for the first time, to get to a house fire within minutes of the 911 call with a fully functioning fire crew.
2017/2018 – Two of the six firefighters hired on this grant were current CFR7 Volunteers. All of our career firefighters are required to be EMTs, rope rescue technicians, water rescue swimmers, and hazardous materials operations level responders.

On January 1, 2019, we will lose those six SAFER firefighters because CFR7 lacks necessary funding to sustain them.

Since 2006, CFR7 has stretched the then voted in $1.50 which has now depreciated to .92 cents. Simple math illustrates that this is not sustainable.

 This community needs to recognize that the vast growth and development in Chelan has created the need for higher levels of public safety services. Additionally, firefighters have one of the most dangerous jobs which these men and women perform without hesitation. They are incredibly valuable members and protectors of our community and we must do our part to ensure that they are able to continue to protect us safely. We must sustain the community we have now, not move backwards.

The links below are just a few examples of events that occur far more often than the town is aware of. A great number of fires and other disasters are extinguished within mere minutes and the town gets to go on as though nothing ever happened. We have the on-duty firefighters with the support of our admirable volunteers to thank for that. We tend to worry about the value of our firefighters when we don’t see or smell smoke, but we certainly don’t question it when they are on the front line during disasters, protecting our town, protecting our children. I really hope that each of you will investigate on your own and find out just how much information you are truly missing.


God bless,
Jacquelynn Dalton
Chelan Falls


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