Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need to invest in Fire and Emergency Medical Services?
It’s been almost thirty years since the Kirkland Fire Department last asked voters to help fund critical services and infrastructure at the ballot box. Over those decades, our city’s population has swelled, our geographic region has almost doubled, emergency calls have steadily increased, and the COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in everybody’s preparedness.
Meanwhile, critical resources that our firefighters and EMTs need for responding efficiently to emergencies and for being healthy and safe have remained mostly unchanged.
The Kirkland Community Safety Advisory Group stuided how our community needs and risk to firefighters have evolved. See this informational message from Kirkland Fire Chief Joe Sanford that summarizes issues presented to the group and what is included in the ballot measure.
Kirkland needs a 21st century fire department. The average age of our current fire stations is 35 years and in the event of an 9.0 earthquake all could experience collapsed infrastructure.
How did the Kirkland Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG) develop recommendations for Proposition 1?
Created by the community for the community, members of the ComSAG spent 8 intensive 3-hour meetings over 5 months to immerse themselves in everything about our fire department . Their report to the city picked the investments that they believed mattered most to keep our community and our firefighters safe.
Members of the ComSAG included representatives from neighborhoods, business, community organizations, and the Kirkland Senior Council and Youth Council.
What will the ballot measure cost?
The levy will cost the owner of a median-valued home in Kirkland $171 per year. That's just $14.25 a month. The median valued home in Kirkland is $730,000.
Qualifiying seniors, disabled veterans, and others would be exempt from the cost of this ballot measure.
Titles provided for identification only
Jay Arnold, Kirkland Deputy Mayor
Dave Asher, former Kirkland City Councilmember
Santos Contreras, former Kirkland City Councilmember
Kelli Curtis, Kirkland City Councilmember
Ken Davidson, Former Fire District 41 Commissioner
Rod Dembowski, King County Councilmember
Manka Dhingra, State Senator, 45th District
J. Donald and Merrily Dicks
Davina Duerr, State Representative, 1st District
Amy Falcone, Kirkland City Councilmember
Roger Goodman, State Representative, 45th District
David Greschler and Paula White
Patty Kuderer, State Senator, 48th District
Shelley Kloba, State Representative, 1st District
Toby Nixon, Kirkland City Councilmember, former Fire District 41 Commissioner
Jon Pascal, Kirkland City Councilmember
Cassandra Sage, Lake Washington School Board Director
Vandana Slatter, State Representative, 48th District
Larry Springer, State Representative, 45th District
Derek Stanford, State Senator, 1st District
Penny Sweet, Kirkland Mayor
Jeff Tomlin, MD, CEO Evergreen Health
Amy Walen, State Representative, 48th District, former Kirkland Mayor
Kirkland Firefighters Local 2545
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Endorse kirkland Proposition 1
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Join the growing list of people in the community supporting these investments in our community and our firefighters. Add your name to the list by filling out the form on the right.
Ballot Measure Elements
Improve Firefighter and EMS Response Times Throughout Kirkland
Proposition 1 adds twenty additional firefighters/EMTs and a new aid car to improve response times and better staff the city.
The difference of minutes in response to a fire or medical call can save lives. Today, our firefighters/EMTs don’t have the ability to respond to portions of Kirkland fast enough to meet life-saving benchmarks and industry standards for fire response.
Hiring additional firefighters/EMTs also allow the closest station to respond to simultaneous calls when busy.
Stockpile Personal Protective Equipment to Prepare for Future Events
Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our first responders depleted our supply of critical personal protetive equipment. Proposition 1 helps us prepare for the next event and rebuild stores of pandemic personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks, gowns, and gloves.
As Kirkland was the epicenter with the first reported deaths of COVID 19 in February, 34 firefighters and police officers were quarantined because of on-duty exposure.
Modernize and Seismically Retrofit Fire Stations to Keep Firefighters Safe
Proposition 1 funds a variety of health and safety modernizations at stations to protect our firefighters, including seismic renovations that will also help ensure the continuation of industry-leading emergency response in the event of a large earthquake.
Four of the five fire stations in Kirkland are currently not up to professional seismic code. Proposition 1 will siesmically reinforce stations to keep firefighters safe in an earthquake, and help ensure equipment is not stuck in a damaged building when we need it.
Fire stations were built in the 80s or early 90s are in need of modernization. In stations that have not been upgraded, the diesel exhaust accumulates in the apparatus bay, which is directly adjacent to the living quarters. Firefighter's bunker gear (coats, pants, and helmets that protect from fire) is also stored in the bay and exposed to diesel exhaust. But more importantly, any toxic substances the firefighters encounter while fighting a fire come back to the station with them as residue on the gear. Those substances evaporate and offgas even after the surface of the gear is cleaned. Each time the door opens, exhaust enters the living space and particulates settle on everything.
Proposition 1 retrofits stations to vent diesel exhaust outside, separate living quarters from the appartus bay, and have a specially-designed room with negative air pressure to clean bunker gear. Firefighters have a higher risk of cancer than the general popultion and these changes will help protect our firefighers from being exposed to toxic substances.
Let's protect those who protect us.
New Fire StationEast of 405 in case of Earthquakes and Catastrophic Events
Currently, station 26 is the only station east of I-405. Proposition 1 would relocate and construct a new Station 27 which would improve emergency response times and be crucial in response to catastrophic events, especially if the freeway were to collapse. The City has secured a site in Kingsgate for this station to be built if Proposition 1 is approved.