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TVF and R must be ready when the big one hits

When we look closely at the facts, there's an easy choice with Measure 34-133, the bond measure that Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue has placed on the Nov. 7 ballot.

West Linn can be proud of its current fire stations because they have served the city so well for so long.

But their day has come - and gone.

Both stations should be considered risky to occupy. Who can predict when the next major earthquake will happen? Even seismologists say only that another is imminent.

But one thing is predictable: A major quake would level both of the buildings that house our fire and medical emergency response teams and all of their apparatus.

That's the last thing West Linn would need in the event of a major earthquake.

The fact is that the district's best apparatus won't even fit inside either of West Linn stations. When the city was annexed to the district a couple of years ago, the district had to rebuild a couple of their old engines to make them serviceable. They were the only engines that would fit inside the old buildings, and they even have difficulty closing the doors.

With new and much larger stations, West Linn would be ready to receive a new pumper and aerial engine. And there would be room for the water rescue team, which works out of the Willamette station and the district's volunteers would move to the Bolton station.

In addition, TVF and R is having difficulty meeting its goal for response time. Two things would bring their response back into the acceptable category: engines with more horsepower to climb West Linn's hills and moving the Bolton station to face Elliott Street, thus significantly reducing the time it takes to get the engine onto Hwy. 43.

When we take a close look at some of the numbers, it becomes apparent that west Linn is getting a good deal in this bond measure.

With less than 6 percent of the population in TVF and R's district, local residents would get 28 percent of the new and rebuilt stations and 10 percent of the new apparatus.

And response times would be cut appreciably.

All of these plans, as proposed by TVF and R chiefs seem plausible and prudent, and we believe them when they say they only ask for more funding when they really need it.

We support Measure 34-133 for the safety of our firefighters and all West Linn residents.