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Posted on: February 25, 2021

Call Volumes Continue to Rise for King County Fire Protection District 10

Fire District 10 - Fire Benefit Charge Media Release

[Issaquah, Wash.] King County Fire Protection District 10 (Fire District 10) reports call volumes increased 9.8 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. Emergency personnel responded to a total of 1,651 calls for service. Agency officials attribute the increase in call volumes to calls for emergency medical service, which were 15 percent higher than last year. In the past five years, total call volumes have increased 16.8 percent overall.

Eastside Fire & Rescue is supported by Fire District 10 as a collaboration with both municipalities and fire districts in east King County. Each city and fire district fund emergency services separately and contribute revenue to the partnership. In Fire District 10, services are funded through a fire levy capped at $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value and a voter-approved fire benefit charge. A fire levy is based on the assessed value of a property. A fire benefit charge is based on a structure’s size and use.

Voters in Fire District 10 first approved a fire benefit charge in 2003. More than two dozen other communities have approved a fire benefit charge because they believe it is a fairer way to fund emergency services. The fire benefit charge takes into consideration that those who benefit more from fire protection services (such as large, high fire-risk structures) should pay more than smaller ones (such as single-family homes).

In 2021, the average fire benefit charge was $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Over the last five years, operating efficiencies and cost savings from the Eastside Fire & Rescue partnership have allowed the rate to be lowered from an average of $0.68 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The fire benefit charge accounts for 23 percent of emergency services funding and will expire at the end of 2021. The Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District 10 likely will ask voters to renew the fire benefit charge sometime this fall. More information about Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County Fire Protection District 10 and the fire benefit charge can be found at www.eastsidefire-rescue.org/154/Fire-District-10.

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King County Fire Protection District 10 and the City of Issaquah formed Eastside Fire & Rescue on January 1, 1999. In 2000, the cities of North Bend, Sammamish and King County Fire District 38 joined the partnership. Each city and fire district fund emergency services separately and contribute revenue to the partnership. More information on Eastside Fire & Rescue can be found at www.eastsidefire-rescue.org.

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