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Franklin County Public Hospital District 1 passes levy resolution for EMS

MESA, WASH. — Franklin County Public Hospital District 1 (FCPHD1) passed a resolution to place a levy increase for emergency medical services (EMS) on the November 7, 2023, general election ballot. The levy, is the first increase requested by Hospital District 1 in its history. The Levy would fund additional personnel to respond to higher call volumes.

“Our call volumes have increased 21 percent in the last two years, and we require additional personnel to meet the emergency service level needs of our community,” Chief Ken Woffenden said. “We have been serving this community since 1945 and have never asked for a tax increase, but our area is growing and so are our costs. That’s what’s driving this request.”

Franklin County tops the state as the number one county for population growth and this is not going to slow down anytime soon. The hospital district has seen increases in calls to residential areas, in accident response calls to Highway 395 as a result of increases in traffic, as well as increases in calls to Coyote Ridge Corrections Center. FCPHD1 continues to work in conjunction with county commissioners and with the state along with Department of Corrections to seek funding and services to help alleviate this concern. However, at this time in their nearly 80 years in the County they need help to better serve the residents they are here to serve.

FCPHD1 is the only ambulance service for the 12,500 people who live in the district’s 715 square mile service area. The hospital district provides EMS, ambulance transport and auto extrication in partnership with area fire agencies. All volunteers are professionally trained and responded to 742 calls in 2022. In the last two years, call volumes have increased by 21 percent.

The levy increase would fund three additional personnel and renovate a station to provide sleeping quarters to allow for quicker response times.

Historically, FCPHD1 has relied on volunteers to provide EMS, but attracting and retaining volunteers is a challenge nationwide due to the time commitment. At times, there are no volunteers to respond to calls when multiple emergencies happen at the same time. The hospital district has identified the need for full-time personnel to respond to calls.

The levy would be an additional $0.22 per $1,000 of assessed property value and cost the owner of a $200,000 home $44 per year or $3.67 per month.

The hospital district also shared that they are accepting applications for the ballot measure’s pro and con committees. Learn more at

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