Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Please Vote No on Proposition Two

Your Spokane Firefighters urge you to please vote No on Proposition Two.

Why? Well, as corny as it may sound, firefighters don't quit caring about the people they serve once their shift ends. 

If you remember, a few months ago, the Spokane city council voted 4 to 3 against raising property taxes by one percent. What this meant is that due to rising fuel costs, rising natural gas rates, rising equipment and maintenance costs, rising electrical rates, rising water rates and rising medical insurance rates, the city will not be able to keep pace economically. The simple majority 4 to 3 vote to not take a one percent raise in property taxes was a vote to shut down the South Hill's Engine 9. Already, residents of the South Hill have seen the bad consequences of this poor decision.

Proposition 2 would require a super majority of 5 to 2 (71%) to raise taxes this one percent. This means that, no matter who you vote in on the next city council election, it will be almost insurmountable to gain a super majority and raise taxes this one percent. That's right - a minority faction within the city council could very much block the will of the majority of citizens and their elected officials' wishes.

If there were to be any tax increase, a special election would have to be held costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. It would be very difficult to get this request on the ballot. 

Proposition 2 will make Spokane a less desirable place to have a business or to raise a family. You witness the rising crime rates, the deadly fires every day in the news. It will only get worse because some in our city council would rather pledge allegiance to power brokers like The Washington Policy Center, ALEC, Tim Eyman and the Koch Brothers than to retain and use the tools of good governance we have entrusted them with. 

How radical is Proposition 2? A 71% super majority requirement has never been put in place anywhere ever before. We don't believe any municipality has ever had any super majority requirement implemented to raise existing taxes. Proposition 2 is so radical that even the Spokesman-Review has spoken out against it. 

Proposition 2 will have no effect on Spokane firefighter wages. It will, however, contribute to a dwindling tax base, as people who can flee Spokane will flee Spokane as its quality of life continues to slide. Businesses will relocate. Our citizen will move. More fires. More crime. 

We care about Spokane and its people. That's why we also join you in voting Yes for Prop 3 - the Library Lid Lift. If you support your libraries, think of the disastrous effects Prop 2 will have for them. 

Spokane shouldn't be a proving ground for the Washington Policy Center and Tim Eyman's ideologically-driven bad experiments and the problems they will create for all of us. 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Two Fire Press Releases

North Battalion Structure Fire
Incident #: 2013005292#
Date of Incident: 02/03/2013
Issuing Officer: Battalion Chief Bill Donahoe
Narrative: On February 3rd, 2013 at 12:02 am the Spokane Fire Department responded one dedicated ladder, one pumper ladder, three engines, one heavy rescue along with two Battalion Chiefs to a reported structure fire at 1023 West Fairview. Upon arrival companies reported light smoke emitting from the gable roof vents and light smoke on the second floor apartment of a converted multifamily two story home. The first arriving Chief sent companies to locate the fire in the attic along with searching the first and second floor apartment units. All residents were soon accounted for and the firefighters located the fire in the attic above the kitchen on the second floor. The smoldering fire was located utilizing thermal imaging cameras and quickly extinguished. Companies remained on scene for approximately two hours removing smoldering insulation and cleaning up the debris.  One resident from the second floor apartment will be displaced until the structural damage and wiring issues can be repaired. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced resident with lodging. The first floor residents were able to remain in the home. There were no injuries reported from the residents or firefighters on scene.
Cause: The attic fire appears to have been caused by faulty knob and tube wiring as reported by the Special Investigation Unit Investigator who responded to the scene.
There is structural and wiring damage to the second floor apartment unit only.
# Firefighters Responding: 20
Dollar Loss: $ 10,000.00
Other Agencies Responding:
Avista, Red Cross and the Spokane Police Department.
End Of Release 
For more information on this release please call (509) 625-7002

South Battalion Motel Fire
Incident #: 2013005239#
Date of Incident: 02/02/2013
Issuing Officer: Battalion Chief Bill Donahoe
Narrative:On February 2nd 2013 at 17:03 the Spokane Fire Department responded one dedicated ladder, four engines, one heavy rescue along with two Battalion Chiefs to a report of smoke in a second floor motel room at 2703 West Sunset Boulevard which is the West Winn Motel. When companies arrived they reported nothing showing and went into the investigative mode. They soon reported smoke in a second floor motel unit coming out of the ceiling lights. Companies were assigned to the second floor to attack the fire along with the ladder company assigned to the roof to potentially ventilate the attic. Other firefighters were assigned to search the building and evacuate all the occupants. The Safety Officer from Rescue 9 while doing an investigative walk around the building reported smoke coming from the basement utility room. At this time the fire was upgraded to a working fire and an additional ladder company was dispatched.  Companies were then sent into the basement and soon reported that the source of the smoke was from a commercial dryer fire. The fire was contained to the dryer and there was no extension to the structure. Companies then focused on removing the smoke and lingering carbon monoxide from the rest of the two story motel. After approximately one hour the residents were allowed back inside the building after their rooms were cleared of the smoke and carbon monoxide. There were no injuries reported from the occupants or fire fighters.
Cause:Although the fire appears to have started in the natural gas fired commercial dryer the exact cause is still under investigation the Spokane Fire Department investigation Unit.
Damage:The commercial dryer was destroyed by the fire along with moderate smoke damage to the basement and light smoke damage to the second floor. There was also investigative damage to the ceiling in one room on the second floor.
# Firefighters Responding: 22
Dollar Loss: $ 8,000.00
Other Agencies Responding:
Avista and A.M.R. Ambulance
End Of Release 
For more information on this release please call (509) 625-7002