The Eatonville Fire Department is now receiving additional funds from a levy lid lift and is purchasing new equipment and renovating fire service buildings.

A vote was taken last November to raise the levy collection amount to the permitted level of $2 per $1,000 of property value, $1.50 for fire service and $0.50 for emergency medical service. The collection amount does not increase with rises in property value, so at the time of the vote, the amount collected was only $1.84.

"This consequently means not new money but the money that the state allows us to collect," said fire chief, Lloyd Galey. "So with those funds that we've been missing out on we were able to spend some money and upgrading equipment and make better use of the tax money that we were able to collect and enhance our services." 

Galey also said that the lack of funds prevented the department from hiring two more paramedic firefighters to be at a full staff level. The testing for candidates will be in July. The department has also applied for a federal grant to hire three additional staff, though they are still waiting on the approval of those funds. 

"We're bringing our personnel back to where it should be," Galey said. 
The department has purchased new heart monitors too. Paramedics are currently training with the heart monitors and they will be in service this week. 
"A very much needed improvement for providing emergency medical services," said Galey. 

Also purchased was new e-draulic extrication equipment. Unlike previous extrication equipment, which had a small combustion engine controlling the hydraulics, this equipment is electric. The department has also purchased a new ambulance chassis that will be retrofitted with a box from an older ambulance. 

"It saves us about $60,000. Essentially we get a brand new medic unit for considerably less money," Galey said.
An entirely new ambulance was also ordered, but due to a 10-month construction period, it is not set to arrive until 2020.

The department has also decided to conduct some renovations to update the fire stations. Improvements include repair to building roofs and carpet replacement. These renovations are mostly to make 24-hour fire staff more comfortable while working.