Letters to the Editor

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WEST PIERCE: Support our firefighters and paramedics

Letter by Ashley K. White, Lakewood on July 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm with 12 Comments »
July 25, 2011 2:40 pm

Many years ago I experienced a medical emergency at home, and my wife called 911. When I awoke and opened my eyes, I saw two paramedics looking down at me. That was the beginning of a long and supportive relationship with the Lakewood Fire Department.

Lakewood voters will have the opportunity to acknowledge their support for the men and women of the Lakewood Fire Department — now part of West Pierce Fire & Rescue — by approving Proposition 1 on the Aug. 16 ballot.

This two-year levy will provide the necessary funding for 25 percent of the fire district’s operating budget in 2012 and 2013. It will maintain quick response times while keeping pace with a growing number of calls. It will maintain quality training for our firefighters and paramedics. It will maintain the current level of exceptional service the citizens of Lakewood have come to expect.

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. itwasntmethistime says:

    We are supporting them. Most of them earn more than most of us, yet we continue to pay them. How is that not supporting them?

  2. tree_guy says:

    So the two medics that “saved your life” wouldnt have responded to your wife’s call if they were making any less money? That seems like an odd presumption.

  3. alindasue says:

    Have any of you been following the Rudy Park comic strip this last week or so? I find it very timely…

  4. Curmudgeon48 says:

    We need to see the facts before agreeing to support this levy request. Post the Fire District budget online. The CPI has been flat or negative for the last three years – what about salary & benefits for the fire district? What is the per capita cost for fire protection/emergency services with and without the levy, and how does this compare with comparably sized suburban communities? How does the present structure of fire district compare to NFPA recommended organizations? Why do we have two fire stations within a mile of each other? We thought the 40th Street property would be sold to offset operating costs in the new expanded fire station. What is has the budget growth for the the district been over the past 5 years, and what the projected cost growth over the next 2-3 years?

  5. Curmudgeon48, you should run for Fire commissioner! Being a Lakewood resident myself I’ve always voted yes for Lakewood Fire. I voted yes to support the merger, and will now vote to support West Pierce Fire and Rescue. From my community news letter it looks like this Levy is to keep things running the level of service we have now. I commented on the other story on this site from the U.P. perspective. I’m dissapointed to see so many negative comments. West Pierce Fire and Rescue and their employees have made alot of sacrfices, Just like all of us in these times. This Levy is not so they can make more money, just keep things where they are. Vote yes for West Pierce Fire and Rescue

  6. itwasntmethistime says:

    Rob — Can you please tell us what sacrifices West Pierce Fire and Rescue and theie employees have made? If they’ve had to sacrifice just like the rest of us were 10% of them laid off and another 30% took a major (larger than 25%) pay cut? If they have, I hadn’t heard.

    Fact is, a lot of people can’t afford A+++ service right now. It’s sure been nice while we’ve had it, but we may have to learn to live with B++++ service like we did for eons before the fire department budgets exploded.

  7. itwasntmethistime,
    I can’t speak to exactly what concessions their employees made. But it says on the cover of the community news letter they gave up $500,000 in salary/benefits. Last year alone. They have been aggressively funding themselfs with grants they have to apply to get… By being such a great department in the first place. The merger has saved close to a million dollars. This levy isnt to hire new people or give anyone pay raises, its just to simply keep the service you have. The A.V. on my house dropped like another 20,000 and its expected to drop again next year. Voting yes to this with a dropping AV I dont think will amount to much out of my pocket. I also voted to support the huge school bond a while back…. Your right about A+ service… But I think you have to pay to have nice schools, great fire/police etc. and that in turn makes home values stay or even climb cause people want to live in those communities.

  8. itwasntmethistime says:

    Okay Rob, I get that nice things and great service cost money, but the reality is that my income dropped almost 50% this past two years. There is literally no area of my household budget that is receiving the same “service” that I was accustomed to for the last decade. This past few years has been all about figuring out what cuts in “service” we need to make to get by. Frankly, I’d rather take my chances with aid calls taking 10 minutes instead of 5 if it would mean I could turn my heat up past 56 in the winter. It’s simply an odds game. If I always chose the safest, surest thing, I wouldn’t have any money left over for groceries.

    And another thing, it really peeves me when people move into an existing neighborhood and rally for expensive improvements to make the neighborhood nicer. If you wanted to live in a nicer neighborhood you should have moved into a nicer one to begin with instead of pushing for changes that will force people who were there first to have to move. If you want sidewalks, buy a house in Dupont, not Oakbrook. If you want 5 minute aid response, don’t buy a house 15 minutes from the nearest fire station, then expect your new neighbors who have been there for 30 years to rally for a new fire station.

  9. tree_guy says:

    The A.V. on my house dropped like another 20,000 and its expected to drop again next year.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/07/25/support-our-firefighters-and-paramedics/#ixzz1TRxKCE1U

    Just because your assessed value goes down doesn’t mean your property taxes go down. The only time you’re likely to see your property taxes go down is when you property goes down in value disproportionately when compared to other properties.

  10. itwasntmethistime, I’ve lived in Lakewood my whole life. Both my parents live in Lakewood. I went to Oakbrook, Hudtloff, and Lakes. Lakewood is a big part of me. I didnt just move here, I’ve seen this city change for the better alot in the last 10 years. I dont want to see anything fade.

    Whats the comfort of knowing your family is safe and your house and personal property are being protected 24/7 365? If you want cheap taxes and no fire department, move out to Yelm.

    My property taxes have pretty much stayed the same since 2006, about a $100 bucks a year up or down. But thats with a huge vote for the schools and everything else I support in this city. I doubt I will notice this Levy.

  11. itwasntmethistime says:

    Rob_D — There you go with the fear-mongering again. Voting NO will not mean we will have NO fire department. Voting NO will not mean my house is more likely to catch fire or that I will be more likely to have a heart attack.

  12. itwasntme- your correct that in voting no your house isn’t more likely to catch on fire or that you are more likely to have a heart attack. Voting no just means that if your house catches on fire, it could take more time to get more resources there. If your trapped inside every second counts. Same as with a heart attack. It could just take longer for more resources to show up. I guess if your willing to roll the dice with you and your familes life, than that’s your decision. I will personally vote yes as I like the service we have now and don’t want to see a decrease in services.

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