Central Pierce Fire & Rescue receives revenue from five different sources. Two of these sources (the Emergency Medical Services Levy and Fire Benefit Charge) must be renewed by voters every few years. These two sources account for almost half of the fire department’s overall budget.
Regular Fire Levy
The Regular Fire Levy provides $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. The revenue generated by the Regular Fire Levy is restricted to 1% annual growth, regardless of growth in assessed values, unless approved by voters. This type of vote is known as a “lid lift”.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Levy
The EMS Levy is voter approved funding based on $.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. This levy must be renewed by voters every few years. The total revenue generated by the EMS levy is restricted to 1% annual growth, regardless of growth in assessed values, unless approved by voters. This type of vote is known as a “lid lift.”
Fire Benefit Charge
The Fire Benefit Charge is voter approved funding based upon the square footage of buildings and type of occupancy, rather than on assessed valuation. The smaller the square footage, the less you pay. The Fire Benefit Charge must be renewed by voters every few years.
When someone is taken to the hospital by the fire department, a fee is charged. The fire department bills the person’s insurance company based on standard charges and the Medicare fee schedule. Citizens residing in Central Pierce Fire & Rescue are not billed directly for ambulance service above what insurance coverage provides which results in no out of pocket expense for our citizens.
Other types of revenue received by Central Pierce Fire & Rescue include interest earnings, fire protection contracts for schools, Pierce County, etc.
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue spends money in three general categories.
The largest expenditure is personnel costs. Central Pierce Fire & Rescue operates with 281 full-time employees.
Materials and Services
This category accounts for all expenditures associated with operating 12 fire stations including utilities, computers, building maintenance. The equipment component accounts for fire engines, ambulances, as well as the equipment on those vehicles (heart monitors, jaws of life, etc.).
Training is provided to the public in the areas of fire and injury prevention. Fire safety programs are provided to all 39 elementary schools in the district. Additional community programs include: first aid classes, Safe Sitter classes, fire extinguisher classes, free smoke alarms with installation and low-cost, custom fit bicycle helmets.