Kuna Rural Fire District Levy FAQ
What is the goal of the levy? To position the Kuna Rural Fire District, through adequate funding and proactive planning, to more efficiently and safely meet the increased demands for emergency services and our community’s current and future safety needs.
Is the Kuna Fire District funded by the City of Kuna? No; the Kuna Rural Fire District is a separate government entity and operates on an entirely separate budget.
Where would a second fire station be located? It is undetermined at this time; however, the next Kuna Fire Station will be strategically located to best serve the greater public.
How will having a second emergency vehicle help with aiding citizens on the south side of the tracks while a train is passing? Two separate emergency services vehicles will be able to respond succinctly to an emergency on the south side of the tracks, which would allow for a quicker response time.
How much is the fire district asking for with the new levy? To meet the demands of current district residents the district is seeking $1.1 million in budget authority.
How does the levy rate for KRFD compare to other fire districts in the area? Kuna Fire has the lowest levy rate of fire districts in the Treasure Valley that employ full-time firefighters,
How much will the levy cost me? The levy will be applied to district resident property taxes at a rate of approximately $5 each month per $100,000 of assessed taxable property value.
When would the levy go into effect? The levy would go into effect for fiscal budget year 2020.
Why is the district asking for an increase? The district has not asked taxpayers for additional funding since a bond measure in 1996. As Kuna continues to grow, emergency call volumes have increased, with staffing numbers staying the same. Increased funding would allow for staffing increases to increase the number of emergency responders to critical calls, increase crew availability for simultaneous calls, expansion and upgrades to current station, fire and ambulance apparatus replacement, and equipment replacement.
Why is KRFD asking for increased staffing? Currently, Kuna Fire responds to the urban and rural areas of the District in approximately 4-6 minutes and to outlying frontier areas in 17-20 minutes. If the crews are already committed to another call, response times can be extended. Increased staffing would increase the number of emergency responders to critical calls and increase crew availability for respond to simultaneous calls. Keeping response times low is critical as there is a direct correlation between response times and survivability.
What is the importance of increased staffing? The levy would add 2 Firefighter/EMS to each shift, increasing the daily minimum staffing from 3 personnel to 5 personnel. This would allow for additional capacity for concurrent calls and more hands on deck for critical calls. For example, performing simultaneous tasks on a fire scene, whereas a 3 person crew is limited to essentially one task at a time. Additionally, increased staffing would meet increased service demands of a growing Kuna.
How would daily staffing change with levy funds? Current minimum daily staffing is 3 personnel providing for either one ambulance crew OR one fire engine crew, not both at one time. Adding 2 personnel per shift (3 shifts) will provide everyday staffing of one ambulance crew AND one fire engine crew OR two ambulance crews.
What is the importance of quick response times? With current staffing, there is inadequate resources to respond to concurrent emergency calls. If the KRFD is already responding to a call, and has to rely on Meridian, Boise, or Nampa to respond, that adds a 13 to 18 minute delay depending on where units are coming from. A person not breathing or heart has stopped beating, will have irreversible brain damage if no intervention occurs within 6 minutes. A structure fire will double in size every 30 seconds generally in 3 to 5 minutes after ignition. In both of these cases time is critical. Additionally, having more hands on deck will provide for faster, more efficient and effective mitigation measures.
What are the current staffing levels? Currently, the KRFD staffs a board of 5 elected Commissioners, one Fire Chief, one Deputy Chief, one Officer of Administration, 2 Administrative Support/Billing Staff, 12 Full-time Firefighters/EMTs and 10-15 Part-time/Volunteer Firefighters/EMTs. Each shift is staffed with 4 crew members. Ideally, each shift would be staffed with 4-6 crew members to increase availability to simultaneous calls.
Would this levy fund a new station? No, funds for growth-related expenditures, such as a new fire station to add capacity, is primarily funded through impact fees, collected from builders through the building permit process. Although impact fees are currently in place, the account balance is usually not enough to fully fund building a new station and/or the fire engines to go in the new station at the time it is needed to be in place and operational. This levy would help to build funds to finish those projects sooner.
What equipment would the levy fund? There would be additional funds beyond additional staffing that would go into a reserve account for future purchases for vehicle replacements and major equipment replacements (heart monitors, self-contained breathing apparatus, radios, fire hose, nozzles, etc.).