MISSOULA – Voters living within the boundaries of the Missoula Rural Fire District are starting to receive ballots for the district’s special levy request, a package which would provide a major upgrade in fire and medical protection for residents living outside the city.
For the past seven years, Missoula Rural Fire has only been able to guarantee two full-time firefighters at each station during the day shift. Two years later, voters approved a mill levy to replace the original federal grant. Now, MRFD leaders hope voters will approve a new package to dramatically increase that coverage.
The funds would be used to hire, train and equip 10 additional firefighter EMTs, expanding Advanced Life Support to the district’s five stations. That’s huge for fire coverage, but is critical to extend paramedic coverage to the growing neighborhoods surrounding Missoula.
“And what that will allow us to do is not only cover our stations with a minimum of two firefighter/EMTs during the day, but also in the evening from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. And on top of that, right now we cannot guarantee Advanced Life Support medical response. If this does pass we will be able to guarantee Advanced Life Support medical response 24/7, 365,” said Missoula Rural Fire District Chief Chris Newman.
If the mill levy is approved on May 7, it would cost just under $40 per-year for a $100,000 or home, or just under $80 per-year on a value of $200,000.
Cost of the mill levy increase on a home with a tax-assessed value of $100,000 would be $39.96 per year. For a home with a tax-assessed valued of $200,000, the annual increase would be $79.92 year.