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Questions and answers on the proposed Fire Protection Personnel Expense Millage

1)    Why do we need a millage for the fire department Personnel?
Since the beginning of the Auburn Williams Fire Department in the early 50s, the department was an all-volunteer-based organization. In the beginning, there were perhaps 50 calls a year, however the number of calls has increased rapidlyover the last few years as the communities have grown adding more homes, condos, and businesses. In 2017 there were over 600 calls of which 397 calls were medical related. To continue making the medical calls, the funding from the millage is required. The State requires all departments with a Medical First Responders license to respond to all medical calls 24-7 by certified medical first responders.  If this requirement is not met, the state can revoke our license. Work and family commitments have made it more difficult for the volunteer fire fighters to respond during the daytime hours.  The choice is to continue to have the Auburn/Williams Medical First Responders or for our residents to wait until an ambulance from somewhere in the county to come to provide aid. With part-time fire fighters at the station during the week, working day time hours, the Auburn-Williams Fire Department can provide faster response time improving the average response from 11 minutes to about 4 minutes, minutes can matter in a life-threatening emergency. To continue to provide the communities with the professional service they expect and need, it is proposed to add certified Medical First Responder/Fire Fighter part-time paid positions during the daytime hours.  That is why the City and the Township is asking for the “Fire Protection Personnel Expense Millage.”

2)    How much will it cost me to support the personnel of the Auburn Williams Fire Department?
Based on the taxable value of your property one mill will levy $1.00 per every $1,000 of taxable value.
The Millage is 1/1000 of a dollar property taxes computed by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the number of mills levied.  A home in Auburn with taxable value of $100,000 would be assessed $20.00 annually.

        
        
Millage for the City and Township is determined by the total taxable value of the property in each community. 
          Because the City is just over one square mile it has less property to tax or less “total taxable value”; therefore 
          1 mill in the city is much less than 1 mill in the Township which is almost 35 square miles with a larger “total    
          taxable value”. 

3)    How is the Auburn-Williams Fire Department currently funded?

         Currently the fire department is funded by the City and the Township. Each municipality funds a percentage of

         the total operating budget from their general fund.  When the agreement to create a joint fire department 

         between the City and Township was executed, a formula based on taxable value, population and total runs 
         was created to determine the percent each community contributes for the fire department expenses.   The 
         proposed millage is not for operating expenses it is solely for personnel related expensessuch as payroll and    
         payroll expenses. The current AWFD operating budget will continue to be funded as is by the City and the 
        Township.

                4) What will the part-time fire fighters do, while being at the station during the day-time shifts?
                     
Although they are at the station to respond to fire and medical calls, there is a lot of work that they can do 
                      during their shifts.  Record keeping, doing fire protection training at the schools, performing truck checks, 
                      equipment checks, hose testing, pre-plan fire safety programs, building upkeep are only a few examples of 
                      what they will be tasked to do.  

               5)  What does it take to be a Fire Fighter/First Responder?
                      
* 290 hours of training in Fire Fighter I & II
                      * Required NIMS classes
                      * Required Medical Training – Minimum of 90 hours

                        REQUIREMENTS TO MAINTAIN FIRE FIGHTER CERTIFICATION
                      * Continued Education, Annually – 24 hours
                      * Continued Education for 1stResponder - 15 Credits Annually (approximately 40 hours annually) 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT 
AWFDChief@gmail.com