May 19, 2024 8:25 pm

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EMS Levy renewal on ballot for Mukilteo voters

MUKILTEO—The Mukilteo City Council approved a resolution in April asking residents to renew the levy for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) during the August 6, 2024, primary election ballot. Assessed property values have dropped so the cost for taxpayers is less than expected.

Mukilteo City Council. SOURCE: Mukilteo City Government.

The average homeowner (defined now as $814,000) would pay an additional $15 per month or $180 per year for a 24-hour Basic (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) response. ALS is the highest level of pre-hospital care possible to improve patient outcomes.

EMS accounts for 78% of all emergency calls for the Mukilteo Fire Department. Call volumes have increased over the past several years, but the EMS Levy rate has decreased in the same time period.

“Every minute counts in an emergency to improve save rates,” said Chief Glen Albright. “Simply put, we require more emergency personnel to respond to medical calls and reduce response times.”

Chief Albright has seen personally how the EMS program makes a difference. In 2022, the Chief arrived at his parent’s home in Mukilteo to go to dinner. His father informed him that it would only be the two of them going to dinner as his mother wasn’t feeling well. Actually, she very calmly told her son, “I’m having a heart attack.” He immediately called 911. When paramedics arrived, they were able to administer medication and transport her to a local hospital. Chief’s mother has since recovered.

The costs to provide service is also an issue. Everything has increased due to inflation –emergency personnel, equipment, ambulance maintenance, fuel and medical supplies. The city is limited to a 1% revenue increase per year, while costs have increased an average of 5%.

“We want to continue to provide quality emergency services for our community. The EMS program is the most important emergency service of anything we do,” said Chief Albright.

The Mukilteo Fire Department is asking voters to return the EMS levy to the previously voter-approved amount of $0.50 per $1,000 during the August 6, 2024, primary election. The lid lift would hire up to six firefighters/Emergency Medical Technicians. Funding also will be used for advanced medical training, ambulances, equipment (such as defibrillators and rapid chest compression machines) and medical supplies needed in the field.

More information about Mukilteo’s EMS Levy renewal can be found at https://mukilteowa.gov/. Chief Albright is also available to answer questions at galbright@mukilteowa.gov or 425-263-8151.


SOURCE: City of Mukilteo

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