Letters to the Editor

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911: Take the time to get all the facts

Letter by Rose Hill, Edgewood on July 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm with 6 Comments »
July 6, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: “County 911 tax resisted” (TNT, 7-6).

Here’s another unfunded mandate from the federal government. They say we must upgrade our emergency radio systems to meet a 2013 deadline. And they say this new system will bring police and fire dispatchers into one agency on a single radio system. Yet two new dispatch centers are being built, one for law enforcement and the other for fire.

There are always underlying issues that the public doesn’t know about. One example is when the citizens of Edgewood voted to annex to East Pierce Fire District. One of the things that a lot of our citizens did not know is that our local Edgewood Fire Department would no longer be staffed. Our headquarters is now in Bonney Lake.

I’m grateful to Pierce County Council members Dan Roach and Joyce McDonald for wanting to take a little more time to gather all the facts on the 911 tax. We definitely need all the information we can get before voting in another tax.

 

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Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. live4fish says:

    Nicely put.

  2. Maybe Pierce county should have used that $500.000 grant from homeland security to upgrade the emergency radio systems instead of spending on the mobile command center . I know they can start using the mobile command!

  3. geeterpontiac says:

    Well said.

  4. live4fish says:

    -Toocan

    Of course the grant was probably for the the building of the MCC. Not for the first payment on a new radio system.

  5. Rose, I suggest that you get some basic facts right. The Fire Station in Edgewood is indeed staffed. It is staffed every day now by at least one Paramedic and three EMT Firefighters, performing ambulance transports to Edgewood citizens with ZERO out-of-pocket expenses. The overall increase in service to taxpayers has been dramatic, all during times where resources have been very hard to come by. East Pierce Fire and Rescue was formed by consolidating 10 fire departments to date. That means that instead of a bunch of fire chiefs sitting at desks performing duplicate tasks, there are firefighters on the street responding to emergencies.

  6. C Williams says:

    Respectfully Ms Hill, the Edgewood station is still staffed, 24 hours a day,
    7 days a week.  Now, unlike before the merger, there are two
    paramedic/firefighters assigned to Edgewood’s  station as well, along with
    the Emergency Medical Technician firefighters, everyday.  While the office
    staff has moved to East Pierce Fire and Rescue’s headquarters station in
    Bonney Lake, Edgewood gained a newer fire engine, a new fire department
    paramedic transport unit, and higher staffing levels of response personnel.
    The firefighter paramedic unit along with paramedics  did not even exist in
    the Edgewood Fire Department before the merger. Note that there is also a
    firefighter paramedic on the fire engine as well, so Advanced Life Support
    can begin as soon as it arrives if the paramedic unit based in Edgewood is
    not the first arriving.   I live with my family in Edgewood, I would not
    stand silent for a lower level of staffing for our community.   In short,
    while there may not be office personnel at the Edgewood Station, there are
    more firefighters and paramedics, around the clock, 7 days a week serving
    the Edgewood Community.

    I do not have all the facts on the dispatch issues, so I will refrain from
    offering an opinion until I have more information.

    Respectfully, Craig Williams, Edgewood

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