Stevens County fire crews hoping for improvements with levy, bon - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Stevens County fire crews hoping for improvements with levy, bond

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Some firefighters are asking for help in the next few days. Some firefighters are asking for help in the next few days.
STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -

Some firefighters are asking for help in the next few days. Stevens County Fire District 1 is looking to make some sizable changes, all with the goal of better responding to emergencies and protecting firefighters.

“You are at the busiest station in the fire district, probably accounts for 600-700 calls total within its district,” says Fire Chief Mike Bucy.

Firefighters are hoping to replace the two busiest stations at Suncrest and Loon Lake. The district has seen calls increase by 21 percent. And there isn't enough space left with the trucks getting larger and larger. One of the trucks has to be parked in diagonally in the garage. And at Suncrest, the space issues pose risks to firefighters.

“So when the truck starts up the exhaust stays in the building. Diesel exhaust contains a known carcinogen called benzene.”

They especially noticed when fighting the Carpenter Road Fire this summer.

“We had people from Suncrest all the way in Springdale trying to prevent the Carpenter Road Fire from getting into the district,” Bucy says.

The new plans would add in living quarters, and help firefighters rest after long hours on the line.

“So they could've just driven over to Loon Lake in 10 minutes, and been sleeping, had kitchen facilities to eat in as well.”

Bucy says it’s thinking about the future and planning ahead. On the ballot, there are two propositions for the changes. Proposition 1 would replace the two stations. Proposition 2 would add a full time firefighter and create reserve funds for future needs. For both, it would cost an owner of a $200,000 home $105 per year.

Some say they don't want to pay additional taxes, but others are happy to, especially after the summer’s fires.

“They put a lot into it and they need help,” says Gloria Wright. “And people have to back them. We live in a great community and we have to back our firemen.”

“We’re not out of that drought,” says Charlotte Reves. We won't be out of that drought for a couple of years I think. So I think it's imperative that we have manned fire stations especially in this area.”

Ballots are due back by November 3.

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