Snohomish County Fire Protection District 17 released its annual Alarm Summary Report for 2008. The information is provided to Fire Commissioners and the public for the purpose of reviewing the District’s emergency response activity. The report shows that the District responded to 1,447 calls for emergency service in 2008. Of that number, 1,054 or 73 percent were for emergency medical service (EMS). This represents a four percent increase in EMS from 2007. “We average almost four emergency calls per day,” said Chief Rick Hjelle. “Three out of the four calls are for emergency medical care. It’s important that the community know which services are used the most and EMS is it.” The report also shows that 13 percent of all calls came in when another emergency was taking place. This number increased from 11 percent in 2007. “Funding from our current EMS levy enables us to respond to two emergency calls at once,” said Chief Hjelle. He expects this number to continue growing as the community increases in population. The District’s EMS levy expires at the end of 2009. Residents of the District will be asked to renew the EMS levy on the August 18 ballot for funding to continue in 2010. The levy is $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This means the owner of a $250,000 home would pay approximately $10.42 per month for 24-hour emergency medical service. The EMS levy needs a 60 percent yes vote to pass. To validate the results, 40 percent of registered voters who voted in the November 2008 election must return their ballots – or 2,074 returned ballots. “Sometimes an EMS-levy will meet the 60 percent approval rating, but not be validated because too few people voted,” said Hjelle. “We need to get the word out to community members to mail their ballots by August 18 or sooner.” District residents are invited to review the report at the Granite Falls Fire Department, 116 South Granite Avenue during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Snohomish County Fire District 17, also known as the Granite Falls Fire Department, formed in 1958 to provide protection to farms and mills around the City of Granite Falls. Today, it provides fire protection and emergency medical service to 11,700 citizens across 38.5 square miles, including the city which annexed into the District in 1987. The District takes great pride in the 40 volunteer firefighters working alongside the 10 full-time employees to provide 24-hour a day fire and emergency medical care.