Letters to the Editor

South King Fire and Rescue chief addresses Prop. 1 | Federal Way letters

On behalf of South King Fire and Rescue, I want to say thank you to the people we serve for your support over the years, and for voting in the recent primary election. Your participation in this fire department and the electoral process — regardless of the outcome — is important and appreciated.

We have taken your message to heart and wanted to keep you informed about the next steps for South King Fire and Rescue. First, we will not run a ballot measure in November. We will work tirelessly to provide the highest level of fire and emergency services possible within our budget, as you have asked.

Immediate cuts include maintaining a freeze on all internal positions; reducing staff through attrition, or direct cuts as necessary in 2011 or 2012; freezing salaries; and working to reduce the budget for the balance of 2010 and heading into 2011 by a minimum of $1 million or more. In January, we will take an aid car out of service. Aid cars are staffed with two Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). This will save the taxpayers approximately $600,000 or more. If revenues haven’t picked up by the first quarter of 2011, we must look at additional reductions across the board.

This will be a difficult process for our community, but we will get through it together. We encourage you to attend an upcoming meeting of your fire commissioners to learn more about the proposed cuts and impacts to our community. (Meeting times and locations can be found on our website at www.southkingfire.org.)

Very simply, we work for you. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve.

Allen Church, Fire Chief/Administrator, South King Fire and Rescue

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