SKFR board to consider EMS levy renewal ballot measure

Fire commissioners to meet at 5 p.m. on March 25 at Fire Station 8

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PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s board of fire commissioners will meet Thursday, March 25 to consider placing an EMS levy renewal measure on the August primary election ballot.

If the commissioners vote to approve the levy measure, voters will be asked to renew the EMS levy at the current rate of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

In 2020, EMS accounted for more than 70% of all emergency calls for the SKFR community, said Fire Chief Jeff Faucett. Voters last approved a six-year EMS levy in 2015. Since that time, Faucett said, call volumes have increased 21.7% for EMS-related incidents.

Discussion will begin at 5 p.m. during the regular monthly SKFR board meeting. The public is encouraged to attend the session at Fire Station 8, 1974 Fircrest Dr. SE in Port Orchard. Meeting information can be found on the fire district’s website at skfr.org/commission-meetings.

“It’s a fact that our EMS program saves lives,” Faucett said in a news release. “We are grateful to be able to provide the highest level of emergency medical care available with support from our community.”

SKFR is the largest emergency services provider in Kitsap County, responding to an average of 10,500 calls a year. Daily emergency operations are funded by two voter-approved levies paid through property taxes.

The fire levy is capped at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. A six-year EMS levy is capped at 50 cents per $1,000. Funding from the EMS levy is used for emergency personnel, training and certifications, ambulances, medical equipment and supplies. The annual cost for the owner of a $400,000 home is $200 per year, or $16.67 per month, for a 24-hour paramedic response, SKFR officials said.

SKFR provides fire and emergency medical services to 78,000 people over 117 square miles in South Kitsap county.

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