Many have asked: “Why does North Whidbey Fire and Rescue need additional funding?” If I may, I will try and clarify some issues.
In November 2001 a law was passed which limited the Fire District to a 1 percent increase annually, which took effect in 2002. The consumer price index since that time has been in excess of 3 percent annually. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that the Fire District cannot maintain services while reducing its operating budget.
Our only recourse is to go to you, the voters, and ask for your support.
We, as your fire commissioners, have extremely prudent in spending your tax dollars. North Whidbey Fire and Rescue has no full-time paid firefighters. Volunteer firefighters, approximately 80, still serve you, the public. They receive the same training as would a paid department without dramatically increasing the operating cost to the district.
Firefighter turn-out clothing (bunkers), breathing apparatus, fire engines, rescue trucks, water tenders, and so on, have approximately doubled since 2001. Without your support in passing this levy, a time will come in the near future where something has to be reduced.
I encourage you to support your volunteer fighters and vote “yes” on the levy. I, or the chief would be more than happy to meet with any group or organization to further explain why this levy is important and required. You may call the District Office at 675-1131.
Bruce Carman, fire commissioner
North Whidbey Fire and Rescue