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South Thurston Fire & EMS
Proudly Serving Tenino, Gibson Valley, Skookumchuck, and Violet Prairie
2021 Bond Measure - Proposition 1
Proposition 1 will ask voters to approve a bond measure at the rate of $0.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The duration of the bond payback would be 20 years and the total bond amount requested $5.7 million.
There are 3 key areas the money will be used to address:
1) Replace Station 41. Our headquarter station located in downtown Tenino is a 7,400 square foot building that was built in 1961. The building has gone through additions and remodels 3 different times in the last 50 years. The building was never indented to accommodate multiple 24-hr firefighters plus admin staff. Currently, the full-time and volunteer firefighter/EMTs utilize a house across the street from station 41 as sleeping quarters. The house was built in 1901 and is only 1,000 square feet. It's a 2 bed, 1 bath but has 4 beds plus lockers.
The proposed building would be a 17,000 square foot facility with 6 individual bedrooms and a 1,500 square foot public use area and training room.
The district is also in the process of setting up quarters at Station 42 (Gibson Valley) to have the ability to have firefighter/EMTs staff the station as staffing levels permit.
2) Replace Aging Apparatus. Our newest fire engine is a 2004 model year. It has been the first out engine since it was new. Our newest ambulance is a 2008 model year and we acquired it through Thurston County Medic One as a surplus medic unit.
- The average fire engine costs $450,000 - $600,000
- The average ambulance costs around $180,000
Over the past 3 years we have been able to slowly replace some of our aging fleet without asking the voters for additional funds. This was possible by using a combination of wildfire mobilization revenue and a new tender was purchased with a low interest loan from Washington state.
3) Replace Equipment. Any additional money from the bond would be used to replace items such as firefighter protective gear and other equipment that is non-compliant or a safety concern. To outfit one firefighter with full protective gear is an average of $3,000. Per NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standard firefighter protective gear is only serviceable for 10 years. After 10 years it needs to be removed from service and replaced.
How to estimate tax levy amount:
Assessed Property Value (AV) ÷ 1,000 x Levy Amount
example: $100,000 AV ÷ 1,000 = 100 x $.037 = $37
- Response Area: 76 square miles
- Population: 8,995 (2018)
- Stations: 1 staffed 24/7, 3 volunteer
Since 2016 South Thurston Fire & EMS has been actively seeking grants to help pay for large expenditures we would otherwise not be able to purchase. Some of those items that have been awarded include:
New Extrication Equipment ($30,000)
Portable Radios ($2,000)
Vehicle Exhaust Removal System ($65,000)
Rope Rescue Equipment ($2,000)
Volunteer Recruitment & Retention ($465,000 over 4 years)
- The average cost to outfit a firefighter with a set of structural firefighting gear is $3,165
- Maintenance and repairs on our fleet of emergency vehicles have averaged $14,000 per year
- Our newest fire engine was manufactured in 2004 and our newest ambulance in 2008.
- Average cost of a new fire engine - $500,000. Average cost of a new ambulance - $180,000
- In 2018 we purchased a brand new Ford F550 chassis and transferred a bed from one of our older brush trucks to reduce costs. The total cost was around $62,000 and was paid for by funds generated from state mobilizations and no money was used from our general budget.
- To send one candidate through the fire academy costs $1,600.
- Outside and ongoing training for one person can cost between $350 to $2,000 per class.
- Tenino station is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Admin and mechanic are 8-5 M-F
- 2 career firefighter/EMTs on duty 24 hours per day
- 28 volunteers that are a combination of firefighters, EMTs, and firefighter/EMTs. Average 2 to 4 volunteers on shift each day. Volunteers receive the same training as our career personnel.
- Currently working on setting up quarters at Station 42 (Gibson Valley) for extra staffing.
- Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance transports. Emergency Medical Services are paid for through the current tax levy, BLS transports to the hospital are not. Revenue from transports are used to support the EMS program and maintain our ambulances.
- State Mobilizations. We currently have 2 wildland firefighting trucks (brush trucks) that are available to mobilize to wildfires throughout the state and Oregon in the summer months. Each truck can generate up to $952 per day while on a mobilization. These funds are used to buy and maintain wildland firefighting tools and equipment.