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News / Clark County News

Clark County Fire District 3’s fire chief seeks community’s feedback on levy

Fire Chief Scott Sorenson: ‘We need to plan’ after funding request fails

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: September 22, 2023, 6:01am

Clark County Fire District 3’s fire chief wants to hear from community members about why voters did not approve a fire levy lid lift in the August primary election.

“We heard voters, and as a result, we need to plan a path forward,” Fire Chief Scott Sorenson said in a news release. “We have always delivered projects we promised on time and on budget. This vote was a surprise to us. I welcome the opportunity to meet with residents and learn more about their concerns with our latest funding request.”

The fire district responded to 4,917 service calls in 2022, of which 73 percent were for emergency medical services. Higher call volumes are leading to longer response times, the district said.

The levy lid lift would have allowed the district to hire additional personnel for three-person engine companies. The district’s current staffing model of two-person engine companies prevents firefighters from entering buildings to begin rescue operations unless another engine company is on scene, according to the district.

The lid lift would have also funded station improvements to allow for quicker response times in the Rawson Road/Elkhorn/Summer Hill areas, replace aging apparatus and fund technical training for firefighters.

Fire District 3 currently relies on mutual aid from other fire agencies for special rescue services.

“We need help and it’s hard for us to say that,” Sorenson said in the news release. “However, I would be doing a disservice to our community and my position as fire chief if I didn’t.”

Sorenson will be available in person at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesdays:

  • Sept. 26 at Station 31, 17718 N.E. 159th St., in Brush Prairie;
  • Oct. 3 at Station 32, 21503 N.E. 227th Ave., in Battle Ground;
  • Oct. 10 at Station 33, 18209 N.E. 259th St., in Battle Ground;
  • Oct. 17 at Station 34, 24812 N.E. Rawson Road in Brush Prairie;
  • Oct. 24 at Station 35, 505 S.W. First St., in Battle Ground.

Sorenson will also be available on those dates at 11 a.m. via Zoom. The Zoom link is available at www.fire3.org.

Residents can also meet with him by appointment or at a Coffee with the Chief:

  • 11 a.m. Oct. 2 at Blue Castle Coffee, 802 S.E. 14th Ave., Battle Ground;
  • 11 a.m. Nov. 6 at Founder’s Mercantile and Coffee, 317 E. Main St., Battle Ground;
  • 11 a.m. Dec. 4 at Dev’s Coffee Bar Battle Ground, 316 E. Main St., Battle Ground.

To schedule an appointment, email scott@fire3.org or call 360-989-7375.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the times Fire Chief Scott Sorenson will be available in person.