PASCO, Wash. – Emergency Medical Service calls are on the rise in Franklin County for Fire District 3.
Fire District 3 recently reported a 10 percent increase in the number of calls it receives for EMS. Firefighters and emergency medical technicians responded to 229 EMS calls in 2012, an increase of almost 10 percent from 2008. EMS represents 58% of all emergency calls received by the fire district so far in 2013.
In February 2013, Fire District 3 changed how it provides EMS to local residents. In the past, it contracted with the City of Pasco, and would assist on emergency medical calls. However, when the city announced a 500% increase in contract fees for the district, the Board of Commissioners for Fire District 3 decided to start its own basic EMS program.
Fire District 3 started a basic EMS program with funding from its reserve account. The program can operate for a year (through February 2014) before additional revenue is needed.
The fire district tried to pass a ballot measure last fall to fund its EMS program, but was unsuccessful. The fire district's Citizen Advisory Committee is in the process of recommending an amount for a ballot measure to be placed on the November General Election ballot this fall.
If Fire District 3 does not find additional revenue, the district's EMS program would end in February of 2014. After that time, fire district residents would have to rely on aid from neighboring emergency providers.