Explanatory Statement for Measure 9-142

 

 

What services does Cloverdale Fire provide?

Cloverdale Fire District covers approximately 50 square miles of rural and residential property in the wildland interface east of Sisters. The District has approximately 3,500 full-time residents. Cloverdale Fire serves as first responder for fire and medical emergencies with ambulance transport provided by Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire.

 

Cloverdale Fire relies primarily on volunteer responders (along with a paid chief and a training officer). Emergency calls in the District more than doubled from 2009 (158 calls) to 2019 (363). Over half the calls in the District are medical emergencies.

 

How is the District funded?

From a property tax base and, currently, a bond for capital expenditures (mainly apparatus and stations). If approved, the five-year levy would supplement the tax base.

 

How would levy funds be used?

To add three firefighter-paramedics and make possible a cost-sharing agreement with Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire to gain the following improvements:

 

  • Staff the main Cloverdale station 24/7 with at least two firefighter-medics for quicker response.  When the station is not staffed, Firefighter-EMTs must drive to the station for equipment and apparatus before responding, adding an 8-12 minute delay to the time to leave the station. The District has tried to reduce delays by providing dormitory rooms for resident volunteers. While this has helped, delays remain common. If the levy is approved, volunteers would be supported by the additional paid responders, making combined volunteer/paid response available 24/7.

 

  • Ensure at least one of two firefighter-medics on duty is paramedic-certified.  Paramedics with Advanced Life Support (ALS) training can provide medical interventions on-scene once only available in emergency rooms.  Funds would ensure availability of these skills 24/7.

 

  • Station an Advanced Life Support ambulance within the District. This would reduce the time required to get a patient to a higher-level of care and could improve survival from life-threatening emergencies. Currently, no ambulance is stationed in the District.

 

  • Changes may improve fire insurance quotes.  Adding in-station 24-hour staffing is expected to improve the District’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating.  An improved rating means property is better protected and residents may be eligible for reduced insurance premiums.

 

Described improvements would be gained by increasing Cloverdale’s paid firefighter-medics from two to five and by reducing administrative overhead through a cost-sharing agreement with Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire. The expected result is more efficient coordination of response coverage, better cross training, and greater depth and flexibility for emergency response in both districts.  (Without this collaboration, more Cloverdale firefighters would have to be hired to ensure 24/7 two-person response from the main station.)

 

What is the cost to property taxpayers?

The levy would have a rate of $1.35 per thousand of tax assessed property value, not real market value, for five years.  For every $100,000 of assessed value the cost would be $135 or about $11 a month.

 

What happens if the levy is not approved?

While the District’s volunteers and staff will continue to respond, response times are not likely to improve without levy funding.