In recent months, the Kirkland City Council considered strategies to set a course for implementing system-wide improvements to the City’s fire and emergency medical services. At the same time, the City Council needed to ensure the intent of an Interlocal Agreement for fire service improvements with former Fire District #41 (FD 41) was fulfilled. On October 20, 2015, following a public hearing, the City Council adopted two resolutions (PDF) that set forth actions in 2015 and 2016 that will improve response time commitments to Finn Hill while better serving the whole city:
In 2015, the City will:
- Purchase property for a new Finn Hill Fire Station 24 near Juanita Elementary School
- Continue staffing a fourth Firefighter at Holmes Point Fire Station 25 and renovate the station to meet current structural and safety standards
- Maintain the existing staff levels at North Juanita Fire Station 27 including six Firefighters to serve the north end of the City and Totem Lake
- Suspend the replacement of road barriers with remote-controlled bollards on Finn Hill pending further study and community outreach
- Initiate property search for a new Fire Station 27 east of Interstate 405
Beginning in 2016, the City will:
- Evaluate financing options for construction of new fire stations and renovation and expansion projects of older fire stations
The Fire Strategic Plan, and a companion “Standards of Coverage and Deployment” study, has led city officials to pursue an alternative plan that would keep the Holmes Point Fire Station 25 open and relocate the existing Fire Station 24 close to the intersection of 100th Avenue NE and NE 132nd Street near Juanita Elementary School.
Through much study, the City has determined that this “dual station” concept is the best investment to lay the foundation for covering all of the Finn Hill service gaps as well as improving services to the rest of former FD 41 residents and the City as a whole. By adding a fourth Firefighter at Station 25, the crew is able to respond more quickly to fires and require less assistance from other stations, leaving them available for calls in their areas. Once the new Station 24 is built in the Juanita neighborhood, the fourth firefighter from Station 25 will be transferred to the new Station 24 as to help staff the three-person engine company that will further improve service to Finn Hill and Juanita neighborhoods.
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