To the Editor:

The Keizer Fire District has an important ballot vote coming up shortly.  The current levy of 35 cents per thousand has been in place for many years.  The cost of being able to provide the service wanted by the community continues to increase well beyond that 35 cent level.

The fire district asked a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to look at the operational costs of the district and to discuss what was needed for future service levels that we all want and need.  This committee came up with the solution of renewing and increasing the current levy to 59 cents.  This will enable the fire district to keep all of their current services, hire two firefighters/paramedics, improve ambulance staffing with a second full-time ambulance and continue to provide a rapid response time to any emergency.

Another item discussed by the committee, but not widely known, is the district’s support of Keizer CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).  Keizer CERT is comprised of volunteer citizens who have gone through training over a period of eight weeks to become certified by FEMA in assisting the various emergency agencies in the event of a disaster.  Close to 200 Keizer residents have completed this training in the last several years.  The training is done by paramedics and/or firefighters with the Keizer Fire District.  Without them, this training would not be possible.  This training would undoubtedly be one of the areas cut back if funding is not there.

Keizer CERT members formed a non-profit corporation to support Keizer CERT and the community of Keizer.  Through community donations and grants, Keizer CERT acquired equipment to support Keizer CERT in the event of a disaster.  One of the primary items was a command trailer, which has been equipped with emergency supplies, and is continuing to be equipped as funds are raised.  Many of you have probably seen our yellow command trailer in various events around Keizer. From the Iris Festival to RIVERfair, public safety fairs and Hometown Heroes, our members volunteer their time to let the community know about the training and services that Keizer CERT provides.  Without the KFD’s annual help, this group would find it hard to continue.

The Keizer CERT Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the measure and we urge your support and encourage you to vote yes on Measure 24-353.

Al Rasmus, President
Keizer CERT