Fire & Emergency Services Levy Information
West Carrollton Fire/Emergency Services Levy Information
Why does the West Carrollton Fire Department need a levy?
The current funding and staffing model for the Fire Department is based mostly on part-time firefighter/paramedics and EMTs. In 2014, the Fire Department had 45 part-time personnel. In 2019, that number dropped to 22 as the pool of available part-time firefighters has decreased despite an aggressive recruitment campaign. Facing a shortage of part-time firefighter/paramedics, the city has no option but to hire additional full-time firefighter/paramedics to accompany the part-time personnel. Without an adequate staff of both full and part-time firefighter/paramedics, the department has been forced to ‘brownout’ a station and/or a medic unit, thereby hindering service to the community. Brownouts have resulted in closing a fire station and/or a medic unit an average of 1,635 hours per year.
How much will it cost?
The levy will generate approximately $672,000 per year. A homeowner would pay approximately 37 cents a day or $11.10 per month for every $100,000 of home value. Those with a homestead exemption would pay approximately $8.33 per month.
What is a ‘Brownout’?
A brownout occurs when there are not enough firefighter/paramedics available to fully staff a given shift. This situation necessitates the ‘brownout’ or non-use of fire apparatus, medic units or a fire station. This is a temporary reduction in our daily firefighting and emergency response force as there are fewer fire/EMS personnel available to respond to emergency requests for service.
Who is affected by a ‘Brownout’?
Any person in an emergency situation could be impacted by a brownout. If the nearest fire station to a fire or medical incident is ‘browned-out’ another crew must be called. As a result, response times could double as other crews respond to the emergency.
What will happen if the Fire/EMS levy passes?
Voter passage of the 3.9-mill fire-EMS levy will allow the hiring of 4 additional full-time
firefighter/paramedics. Additionally, it will provide a competitive wage and incentive package to attract and retain additional part-time personnel. Passage also assists the city in retaining the two firefighter/paramedics hired in 2019. These new hires will yield fully staffed fire stations and ultimately a substantial reduction in the frequency of brownouts. The selection process for full-time firefighter/paramedics would begin in late fall of 2020 with the expectation of appointments in January 2021 when funding will become available.
What happens if the levy does not pass?
The fire department will continue to provide the best possible service with current staffing and funds however, fire station brownouts would continue to occur.
What percentage of voters must approve the levy for it to pass?
Levies require a simple majority or 50% plus one vote.
Where can you find out more about how to vote?
Last day to register to vote: February 18, 2020
Election day: March 17, 2020
Early or absentee ballot voting begins: February 19, 2020
Voter information (registering, early voting, absentee ballot): www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters
Where can you find more information about the Fire-EMS levy?
The city will be holding community information sessions leading up to March 17, 2020. The first presentation will be given at the city council meeting on January 28, 2020. We will provide transparent communication to all the citizens of West Carrollton.
How can you help?
If you are interested in volunteering, please email contact information to the ‘Citizens for WC Fire-EMS Levy’ committee at: Wcfireemslevy@gmail.com
Questions? If you have questions about the levy, please email Heidi Van Antwerp at Hvanantwerp@westcarrollton.org