Firefighters and EMS Fund was founded to be a voice for America’s firefighters and emergency service professionals in the political process. Since most public policy relating to firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) originates at the local level, we are always watching for local ballot measures that impact these brave public servants. Here are a few of the fire referendums we are watching in 2019.
Colorado Springs collective bargaining measure
In Colorado Springs, response times from the local fire department have become slower over the past few years. In addition to a pay raise for the city’s firefighters proposed by the Colorado Springs mayor, firefighters are asking the public to approve collective bargaining rights for the firefighter union so that they can have “a seat at the table” when it comes to public safety decision.
Woodstock, Illinois property tax
In Woodstock, Illinois, the local fire department is asking voters to approve an increase in property tax rates that will help the department combat cuts in staffing. According to documents, this would amount to around a $57 dollar per year increase in property taxes for someone who owns a $100,000 home in the city.
Corning, New York department merger
In the town of Corning, New York, voters are set to decide whether or not to establish a joint fire department with the neighboring village of South Corning. Currently, the town of Corning does not have a fire department and voters will decide whether to take on the expense of merging with the neighboring department.
Cornelius, North Carolina
In Cornelius, North Carolina, voters are being asked to extend a five-year fire levy used to staff three professional firefighters in the town to supplement the volunteer firefighters serving in the department.
These are only a few of the referendums we have on our radar this year. We will continue to monitor ballot measures that help firefighters across the country and get involved where we can make a difference.