WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

 

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Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes on Lincoln City’s Fire Levy

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NewsLincolnCounty.com, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.
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As a volunteer firefighter and community member, I support North Lincoln Fire-Rescue’s Measure 21-183. Most of our equipment is fast approaching the end of its service life and needs to be replaced with newer and up to date equipment. We also have vehicles approaching 20 years of service that need to be replaced as the repair costs to maintain them are increasing. Replacing these vehicles will cut costs and enable us to spend those savings on other items in the district.

This bond will also enable the district to make much needed upgrades to a few of our stations. Our main station by Kenny’s IGA North needs to be updated to meet current building codes. The station needs to have its decades old generator replaced, a sprinkler system installed along with a new heating/cooling system. Along with that, the station needs a special room to store turnout gear. Right now the gear is kept in the fire apparatus bay right next to the engine where the gear is exposed to the exhaust. Our firefighter turnouts are only useable for 10 years. Being routinely exposed to such contaminates decreases the life of our gear.

Our in-the-field radio communication system is over 25 years old and needs upgrading. There are times that using a portable radio is not possible. In a fire, these portable radios are our lifeline to the crews. If a firefighter needs help inside a fire, the radio is the only source of communication. As it stands right now, these radios do not always work outside due to mountainous topography, much less inside a building.

Yes, a levy was passed last year – an operational levy. But that levy is being used to pay for critically needed paid firefighters, and to keep other volunteer programs in place. Because of that, there is a full time paramedic engine that responds to calls within a matter of minutes. Prior to this, response times were longer because volunteers had to respond from home to a station, staff a vehicle and THEN head for a fire or rescue. That could take several additional minutes.

The levy also keeps the volunteer shift program in place. This allows volunteers like myself to be on shift for a day, night or a full 24 hours and be compensated for it. While the compensation is not a huge amount, it helps volunteers earn a little extra money while training more and being more available to answer the call.

By this bond passing, we can respond to any emergency with the most up to date equipment and provide the best possible care to our community. I am voting YES on measure 21-183. I hope you will too.

George Blacketer
Firefighter
North Lincoln Fire-Rescue

 

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