Fire & Emergency Services Levy Information
Thank you citizens of West Carrollton for supporting the W.C. Fire Department.
We appreciate you!
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.