Following the Aug. 2 primary election, South Pierce Fire and Rescue is now expecting its emergency medical services levy to be renewed. After requiring simple majority voter approval to renew, the …
Following the Aug. 2 primary election, South Pierce Fire and Rescue is now expecting its emergency medical services levy to be renewed. After requiring simple majority voter approval to renew, the EMS levy received just under 66% “yes” votes.
The six-year levy is estimated to cost 50 cents or less per $1,000 of assessed value. According to South Pierce Fire Chief Todd Wernet, the EMS levy provides 20% of the department’s total budget.
“If we wouldn’t have passed it, we would’ve lost all funding for all of our EMS,” Wenet said in an interview with Nisqually Valley News. “The renewal is very critical to our department and the community because if it wasn’t passed, we would’ve had to lower our service to the district dramatically.”
The EMS funding provides many services, including ambulances, training and certifications for emergency personnel, and allows medical equipment and supplies to be provided with no wait time.
“The levy renewal is important because it is a major way to advance our advanced life support training as well as equipment and apparatus,” Wenet added. “It covers equipment but it also covers technicians too. It covers our career firefighters and our volunteers as well.”
Wernet and the department are thankful that the levy has passed. If the alternative would’ve happened, the South Pierce Fire and Rescue department would have looked very different in the near future.
“We only have so much money in our reserves,” Wernet said. “If this wouldn’t have passed, we wouldn’t have had enough money to run a full staffing for a year.”
In other local election news, incumbent state Rep. Andrew Barkis will cruise to reelection after facing no challengers for Legislative District 2. Republican Rep. J.T. Wilcox has a commanding lead over challenger Edward Meer, who has no party preference. Wilxoc took 21,289 votes — 73.9% — to Meer’s 6,802 votes and 23.61%. Both candidates will move to the general election under the state’s top-two primary system.
In Thurston County races, incumbents were almost in all cases in the lead, though none of the races had more than two candidates meaning they will all move to the general election. One exception to incumbent dominance was in the case for Thurston County sheriff, where incumbent John Snaza was behind challenger Derek Sanders 52.05% to 47.2% as of Tuesday’s count.
Election results are expected to be certified by each individual county on Aug. 16, 2022. View fill Thurston County results online at https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20220802/thurston/.
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