Letters to the Editor

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ELECTION: Support Key Peninsula EMS levy

Letter by Robert E. Skaggs, Puyallup on Aug. 5, 2010 at 11:51 am with 6 Comments »
August 9, 2010 9:20 am

On Aug. 17, Fire District 16 voters are being asked to renew the emergency medical services levy.

We want to encourage support for this levy, which is not a new tax; it is simply a continuation of your current tax, which will maintain current level of emergency services on the Key Peninsula.

Response times are a critical part of cardiac and trauma-related emergencies. In the past decade, the fire service has been increasingly tasked with responding to EMS incidents.

Statistics show that due to their central locations, fire-based paramedic services greatly enhance the survival rate of patients. To maintain this high level of service, a majority of fire commissioners who manage the fire district have requested voter support of this levy.

If this levy fails, nearly half of the district’s firefighters/paramedics will be laid off. The fire department will be incapable of providing the high level of service it currently does, and lives may be lost.

Some individuals in the district are recommending against the levy because there is no comprehensive drug and alcohol policy in the fire district. Voters shouldn’t let a personal agenda compromise their safety. As elected fire officials with 75 years of experience, we have a duty to protect the lives of our citizens. Without a yes vote, lives may be lost.

(Skaggs is president of the Washington Fire Commissioners Association. Also signing the letter is Rick Kuss, president of the Pierce County Fire Commissioners Association.)

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Why are some people in love with the phrase:Its not a new tax,its just a continuation of an existing current tax.The idea is you are used to paying the levy so stay being used to the tax,and when we ask for more levy money,be prepared to hear more horror stories of the folly of you not giving us what we asked for.

  2. howellheinrick says:

    Why is it that people have forgotten that you have to pay for services and that things are not free. I am continually amazed at the non stop anti tax rhetoric. What kind of household budgets do these people run? Is it based on no revenue? We need EMS services, they have been working within their budget for years, a very lean budget, there is no more funds to expand, while the population of the KP grows, they have good leadership under Tom Lique, It is time to pay up. Not every tax is a bad tax, and when these anti tax obsessives need EMS services they are not going to hesitate to call AND they will expect it to be free. Guess what, it isn’t.

  3. If and only if our taxes were used properly. However, how many people that have used the EMS services got a bill? That is double dipping! Making the taxpayer pay TWICE for the same service. Can’t have it both ways.

  4. jandkgibbs says:

    People should attend a fire district meeting. I did and I found out that since we have a hospital in Gig Harbor now that people are driving themselves to the hospital to avoid the $600 ambulance ride. The demand for their service has actually reduced and they need to make up the loss in revenue by continuing the tax. Voting NO on levies is the only way to reduce your property tax. The county tax assessor won’t even after we all lost 20% of our property values.

    Yes, we need this service but demand is down so making them tighten their belt seems smart to me. Bottom line is they won’t reduce the budget unless you remove the funding first. Go to one of their meeting and make sure they are doing it right. They work for you.

    Don’t fall for the “sky is falling” story line again. Reduce their funds and make sure they manage it correctly. All government can learn to get by with less and the time to learn is now.

  5. sincere says:

    Mo comingst household budgets are based on a certain amount of money

  6. sincere says:

    To continue:Most household budgets are based on a certain amount of money coming in to offset the amount of money going out.When the amount of money isn,t enough to cover the amount going out then some expenses are going to have to be cut! SIMPLE LOGIC ! If you have cut most of the fat out,then you cut out the rest of the fat and start on the lean meat! We are not the FEDS and print more money but have to survive on what we have.

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