On Nov. 8th, the Putnam County residents will be voting on a Special Levy that will determine the future of the fire/rescue service in Putnam County.
The Putnam County Commission, Putnam County Fire/Rescue Service and Putnam County Emergency Medical Services are proposing an Emergency Service Special Levy that will replace the current fire fee. The special levy will also replace the county budget for Putnam County Emergency Medical Services.
If approved by the voters, the special levy will generate additional money for the Putnam County Fire/Rescue service and Putnam County Emergency Medical Services to provide the following:
Cover payroll costs and some expenses for Putnam County Emergency Medical Services.
Cover operating costs for local fire/rescue departments throughout Putnam County.
Hire firefighters to provide adequate emergency services coverage in our communities and to address volunteer staffing shortages.
Assist with fleet replacement costs and maintenance.
The current fire fee has been unchanged since 2012 and the Fire/Rescue Departments have maximized the current funds through cooperative purchasing, federal/state/local grants, and continuous donations and fundraising. However, we are faced with the reality that the funds cannot be stretched any further without serious impact on the protection provided to the citizens and businesses of Putnam County. Putnam County needs more than the mere existence of Fire Departments, they need additional money to properly staff and operate the stations.
Your Fire/Rescue Stations do much more than fires. More commonly than structure fires are motor vehicle collisions, many with entrapments; alarm activations; downed power lines; downed trees; certain medical emergencies; gas leaks; search and rescue; ATV/UTV/Farm accidents; swift water conditions; and much more. These stations respond daily to protect and assist Putnam County residents and businesses in many ways. Without adequate funding, these services become in jeopardy of protecting our residents and businesses the way they deserve and expect.
Without the additional money, the county will be forced to reevaluate and likely reduce the fire/rescue services in Putnam County which will impact the entire county, not just portions. Reduction of stations or services would greatly impact response time and ability to protect life. Residential and commercial insurance premiums would be affected by loss of coverage in the county.
More information can be found at putnamcountyfireservice.org