Opinion

Support the Marysville Fire District on Nov. 7

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Voters in the Marysville area will have the opportunity in the
Nov. 7 General Election to help ensure that the Marysville Fire District has the resources necessary to provide our growing community with the critical life and property saving services on which we all depend.
Based on where a voter lives, they will be asked to vote on either the City of Marysville Proposition 1 (for those who reside within the city limits) or Snohomish County Fire Protection District No. 12 Proposition 1 (for those who reside outside of the city limits but within the boundaries of Fire District No. 12). Both propositions would raise an additional $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed valuation which would be used to fund the fire protection and emergency medical services of the Marysville Fire District. That means the owner of a $250,000 home, whether it is in the city limits or within Fire District No. 12, would pay an additional $75 per year for enhanced and expanded fire protection and emergency medical services.
The additional funding would allow the Marysville Fire District to do a number of things, all aimed at making us all safer in our growing community.
First, the funding would allow for the construction and staffing of a new fire station, most likely to be located in the Sunnyside area. This new station would mean improved response times and emergency medical services for everyone within the Marysville Fire District, no matter where they live. Response times are critical and can be a matter of life and death, especially in emergency medical service calls (80 percent of the Marysville Fire District calls are for EMS). The National Fire Protection Association recommends a response time of five minutes to 90 percent of the calls received. Currently, the Marysville Fire Districts average response time is 6 minutes and 18 seconds. While the proposed new fire station wont bring MFDs response time below that recommended by the NFPA, it will reduce the response time and make our community, and those who call it home, safer.
Currently the Marysville Fire District is staffed by a combination of full-time and part-time volunteer firefighters. The new funding will allow the district, over the period of three to four years through attrition, to transition to an all full-time force. While our part-time firefighters have served this community and its residents in an exemplary manner and with distinction, that type of staffing has some inherent drawbacks. Due to a number of understandable and justified reasons, there is a lot of personnel turnover in the ranks of the part-time volunteer firefighters. This puts the district in the position of spending the time, money and effort to almost constantly recruit and train new part-timers. Thats time, money and effort which could be used to train and retain full-time firefighters.
The additional funding will allow the Marysville Fire District do a number of other things all aimed at improving the services it provides and making our community a safer place to live. Vote Yes for expanded and enhanced fire protection and emergency medical services.

To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey, Scott Frank or Margi Hartnett e-mail forum@premier1.net.

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