Letter: Incumbent seeks re-election to Carbondale fire district

Incumbent seeks re-election to Carbondale fire district

I am running for re-election to the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection Board of Directors. I was a volunteer firefighter/emergency medical technician for 25 years (retired) and have been on the Carbondale fire board for 20 years. In that time, we have accomplished a number of projects that make this district safer for the residents, including construction of Station 4 (Westbank), Station 5 (Missouri Heights), Station 2 (Redstone) remodel and add residences, added residences to Station 4, Upgraded Station 1 operations building and added residences for first responders and a maintenance facility, constructed the headquarters/training building, continually upgraded ambulances and fire vehicles, started prevention programs in schools, AED and CPR programs, increased training for volunteers/staff, upgraded to a paramedic level ambulance service and lowered the ISO rating from a 7-9 to a 5-5, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in insurance premiums, just to name a few. We have maintained a mostly volunteer department to save money.

All of these were accomplished with voter support. Every election has passed over the last 20 years with the exception of November 2013, and we heard the taxpayers loud and clear. They wanted less fire taxes then we asked for and wanted a sunset provision. We have started a Citizen Advisory Committee that will meet and educate themselves on our operation and make recommendations to us for the future. We look forward to their input.

Revenues have dropped by over 40 percent in the past several years. We have been working to maintain the paramedic level EMS service and the 5-5 ISO rating for the district. We do not believe that the citizens of the district want to step backwards in services.

In a comparison of area fire districts, the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District’s budget, salaries and expenditures are basically in the middle of the pack. You don’t hear complaints about the district’s services. We are one of the most well-respected small fire districts in the state! For $295 a year on a $500,000 home, you get the best EMS and fire services possible, and that is what it is all about. The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District exists for your health and safety. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

I would appreciate your vote of confidence.

Mike Kennedy