Fire Service Levy Updates
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THANK YOU! Oak Harbor voters approved two ballot measures in the November 8, 2022, General Election to improve emergency response times and capabilities. Follow along here from 2023 to 2025 as we share information about the implementation of these service improvements.
Improve fire protection response times and capabilities by building and operating a fire station in the southwest area of Oak Harbor that is staffed 24/7.
Build and operate a second fire station in Oak Harbor's southwest area
The construction of the second fire station in the southwest area of Oak Harbor will improve emergency response times by placing firefighters closer to the City's areas of greatest growth and growth potential. In addition, increased staffing will provide better coverage citywide, allowing the department to keep a medical/rescue unit and a fire engine in service 24 hours a day.
Station 82 Key Features
Station 82 will exceed industry standards and follow best practices of "Healthy-In, Healthy-Out," to maximize firefighter safety.
More specifically, Station 82 will feature:
- Satellite station, small in size: ~7,300 square feet (about 1/3 the size of Station 81)
- Individual sleeping rooms to support gender diversity in the modern fire service
- Decontamination areas for bunker gear and equipment
- Adequate storage space for the proper care and storage of emergency vehicles and equipment
- Dedicated fitness room to support firefighter health and readiness
- Designed to the latest seismic and code requirements for essential facilities
- Small Training classroom
- Staffed 24/7 by a combination of full-time and paid-on-call firefighters
This project is entirely funded by a general obligation bond of $0.23 per $1,000 of assessed property value; the bond will expire after 20 years. Operating expenses for the station (including staffing) are funded by a levy lid-lift of $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Improve fire protection response times and capabilities by increasing minimum staffing from three to six firefighters per day.
Fire Department Staffing Plan and Timeline
There are currently 12 full-time firefighters on staff with Oak Harbor Fire Department (including chief officers). To increase minimum staffing from three firefighters per day to six firefighters per day, an additional 9-10 full-time firefighters will be hired between now and the time the second fire station is completed (in late 2024 or early 2025).
- Hire 2 full-time firefighters
- 1 on A Shift
- 1 on B Shift
Near completion of the construction of the second fire station (expect 2024 or 2025)
- Hire 1 full-time lieutenant and assume funding for 1 current lieutenant (position is currently grant-funded)
- Hire 6 full-time firefighters
- Move from 12-hour shifts to 24-hour shifts
- A Shift | B Shift | C Shift - one shift on-duty per day, staffing 2 stations; to include:
- 1 Captain,
- 1 Lieutenant, and
- 4 firefighters.
- Supplemented by 5, 12-hour paid-on-call positions per day.
A levy lid-lift of $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value was approved by Oak Harbor voters in the 2022 General Election. Of these funds, $0.64 is allocated to the operations of the second fire station, including staffing which utilizes 82% of the budget (or $0.52 per $1,000 of assessed value).
Improve fire protection response times and capabilities by replacing a 24-year old fire engine and equip the new station with a quint truck.
February 2023 Update
At the February 21, 2023 Oak Harbor City Council meeting, councilmembers approved the request to purchase an E-One fire engine and E-One Quint Ladder Truck utilizing a state purchasing contract. It will take about two-years for the vehicles to be built and delivered.
Replacing Engine 813
Engine 813 and Engine 814 are 1998 Seagrave pumper engines. One will be replaced with a new, like-model pumper engine and will continue to operate from Station 81. The other will be replaced by a Quint Ladder truck that will operate from the new fire station.
Quint Ladder Truck
Replacing one of the department's 24-year-old pumper engines with a Quint ladder truck makes good sense. A Quint is essentially a pumper engine with an aerial ladder (or a combination pumper engine and ladder truck). The quint will operate from the new fire station (Station 82) and will serve as the back-up to the 1992 Seagraves Aerial Ladder truck that operates from Station 81.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Levy funding will be utilized to purchase PPE for newly hired firefighters and replacing equipment that must be retired after 10-15 years. This includes:
- self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) -- $7,200
- protective fire coat and pants -- $1,600 for coast, $1,100 for pants
- boots -- $500
- helmet -- $400
- flash hood -- $120
- gloves -- $100
- suspenders -- $75
Of the $0.67 per $1,000 assessed property value, $0.03 is allocated to the replacement of one aging fire engine. A general obligation bond in the amount of $0.05 per $1,000 of assessed property value is allocated to the purchase of a quint ladder truck to operate from the new fire station for the 12-year length of the bond.