Arcata Firefighters’ Measure R plea: keep stations open, preserve fast response

Arcata Fire Protection District graphic

Arcata Professional Firefighters Local 4981

ARCATA – Warning of a potential risk to fast and effective fire and emergency medical response, front line firefighters are joining community leaders in urging voters in the Arcata Fire District to support Measure R on the March 3 ballot.

The 19 members of Arcata Professional Firefighters Local 4981 have endorsed Measure R, saying it will provide critical revenue to prevent the loss of a fire station and dramatically longer response times to fire and medical emergencies.

“The people who live in our district depend on us to be there fast when seconds count,” said Scott Gordinier, vice president of Arcata Professional Firefighters. “Measure R will help us keep our fire stations open and our firefighters on the job protecting lives and property.”

Firefighters in Arcata respond to nearly three times as many calls as they did just two decades ago, even as their resources have shrunk. The community also faces the ever-increasing risk of catastrophic wildfire. Fire district officials warn that, without additional revenue, one of Arcata’s three fire stations will be closed, and the district could lose one-third of its firefighters.

“As firefighters, we always work to do more with less, but our district is at a critical point,” said Gordinier. “If Measure R isn’t passed, we could see longer response times, especially for medical calls when seconds count.”

Measure R, placed on the ballot by the fire district board of directors, would institute a modest and accountable parcel tax for a period of ten years. Every dollar of the funding would be used to support fire and emergency medical response in the Arcata Fire Protection District.

Expenditure of the funds would be overseen by a citizen’s oversight committee, ensuring that the funds are spent the way the voters intend.

Arcata firefighters also noted the connection between strong fire protection and insurance costs. With the risk of catastrophic wildfires threatening to send insurance rates skyrocketing, Gordinier said Measure R could potentially save ratepayers as it protects taxpayers.

“Our community and its residents can’t afford to lose its fast, effective fire response,” said Gordinier. “We would ask voters to please say yes to Measure R to keep our fire stations open, keep our firefighters on the job, and keep our community safe.”

For complete information on Measure R, visit arcatafire.org/fundingfaqs.

 







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