The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District wants to renew its local operations levy.
The new levy will add up to nine new firefighters and paramedics. The fire district says the levy provides funds to reduce response times and have the crews to respond 24/7.
“Emergency calls have increased 56% over the past decade,” the district said in a release. “Paramedic transports to the hospital in Bend, which take fire/EMS crews out of the District for more than 2 hours, have doubled in the past 3 years. Over 600 times in 2022 the District responded to 2 or more concurrent emergency calls. In 183 cases, there were no crews within the District to respond to emergency calls.”
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The levy will be 64 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. A home valued at $400,000 would pay $256 per year ($10.66/month).
La Pine says current levy amounts have not changed since 1998 and are set to renew in 2024 with voter approval.
Here are more specifics of what the levy would provide, according to the district:
- Increase Fire / EMS staffing from 2 to 3 crews, available 24/7.
- Reduce response times, especially during times of multiple emergency calls for service.
- Assure that effective firefighting forces remains within the community, even during times of multiple transports to Bend hospital.
- Improve the communities fire response and prevention efforts to wildland / urban interface fires.