Clackamas County Voters Appear To Approve Emergency Services Levy
Clackamas County, Ore – Measure 3-594, a $14.5 million Emergency Services Levy, is on track to be approved by voters in the Clackamas Fire District. The levy aims to provide funding for increased firefighter staffing, essential equipment, and improved emergency and wildfire response capabilities.
With 58% of the votes counted, the measure is poised to pass, ensuring the allocation of necessary resources for the Clackamas Fire District. Spanning across 235 square miles and serving more than 220,000 residents, the Clackamas Fire District is one of the busiest emergency response agencies in the Portland Metro Area, handling approximately 30,000 calls annually. However, unlike other large fire agencies, the district previously lacked an emergency services levy, resulting in ongoing staffing challenges, particularly in maintaining coverage at rural fire stations.
The approved levy will address these issues and encompass the following key areas of investment:
- Hiring 62 additional firefighters
- Increasing staffing levels at most fire stations
- Implementing 24/7 career staffing at critical rural fire stations, including Clarkes and Logan, which play a vital role in wildfire and emergency response
- Providing quick response vehicles to enhance efficiency in high-demand service areas
- Investing in equipment and operational costs related to emergency and wildfire mitigation, prevention, and response.
Clackamas Fire District Chief Nick Browne expressed his gratitude to the residents, business owners, and community partners for their support throughout the levy development process. Chief Browne highlighted the levy’s significance in ensuring the maintenance of high-quality service and response capabilities, which will undoubtedly save lives. He pledged to provide regular updates to residents and community members on the impact of the levy investments.
Director Chris Hawes acknowledged the levy’s origins, dating back to nearly three years ago after the devastating 2020 wildfire season. Recognizing the need for long-term investments in equipment and staffing, Director Hawes emphasized the district’s commitment to community outreach and engagement. He expressed gratitude to Clackamas Fire District voters, firefighters, and Chief Browne for their collective efforts in securing the success of the levy.