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Changes springing up at King City TVF&R station

May bond measure would replace, upgrade emergency communications system

Spring is here! As some of you find yourselves in spring cleaning mode, remember to check your smoke detectors as well. A working smoke detector is your key to surviving a fire.

There is a lot happening here at the King City fire station. We are one of the training stations for our fire district and will be having some new faces with us. Some of these firefighters came from other fire departments in a lateral move, which helps close the gap with a younger work force as we experience more retirements.

In an effort to help reduce our response times, our 40-hour-per-week fire/medic unit is going 24/7 starting April 1.

In the May 17 Washington County election, voters are asked to consider a $77 million bond measure to replace and upgrade the emergency communications system that emergency personnel, including your firefighters, rely on. This system is run by the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency and staffed by 911 dispatchers who notify TVF&R of possible emergencies, provide information about the situation as crews travel to the scene, allow coordination of resources, request additional aid and alert other responders of next steps in a response effort.

If approved by voters, the county would issue general obligation bonds to pay for the capitol costs associated with the following 911 equipment and facility enhancements: Convert the existing system to current technology; improve countywide coverage by installing more towers; strengthen facilities for earthquakes, storms and other emergencies; expand the 911 center and emergency facilities to meet future demands of a growing population; and replace about 3,000 aging, obsolete analog radios currently used by first responders countywide.

The projected levy rate is not expected to exceed 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value over fewer than 21 years. The estimated cost for a typical home in Washington County would be $20 in 2016 based on a residential property with an assessed value of $255,408.

If the measure is not approved by voters, the emergency communications system will not be replaced and upgraded in a timely manner, making it increasingly susceptible to unrepairable equipment or component failure that would impact emergency response. More information is available online at wcemergencycommincations.blogspot.com

As always, your King City firefighters take great pride in serving you. If there are any questions or comments, visit us at tvfr.com or stop by the station!