Fire & Emergency Medical Services 2020 Ballot Measure


Thank you Kirkland!

Kirkland’s Proposition 1 passed with over 71 percent support! The City is now working to implement the measure and will update this webpage as new hires are made, and construction/renovations are underway. In the video below, we are excited to share a message of gratitude from Mayor Penny Sweet, Fire Chief Joe Sanford, and the dedicated members of the Kirkland Fire Department.


Below, you'll find a series of videos created to help educate Kirkland voters about the ballot measure and its various investments.  

New to the ballot measure? The following presentation narrated by Chief Joe Sanford will provide you with everything you need to know about the Fire & Emergency Medical Services 2020 Ballot Measure: 

In the videos below, Chief Joe Sanford and other fire department leadership help break down the various facets of the 2020 ballot measure.  

In this first video, Fire Chief Joe Sanford gives a broad overview of the investments included in the November 3, 2020 ballot measure:

Click the image below to see how changes in home furnishings have impacted response times and firefighter/EMT health and safety over the last 30 years:

In this next video, we look at how the ballot measure invests in future pandemic preparedness:

In the below video, we explore how staffing investments improve response times: 

Click below to learn more about how station renovations improve Firefighter/EMT health and safety:

In the below video, we share about how new Fire Station 27 improves response times:

Learn more about response times with Deputy Chief Dave Van Valkenburg:

Thank you voters!

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Kirkland voters approved Proposition 1, a permanent $0.23513/$1,000 levy lid lift increase to hire 20 additional firefighter/EMTs, improve firefighter/EMT health and safety and response times, renovate stations 21 in Forbes Creek, 22 in Houghton, and 26 in Rose Hill, and relocate and construct a new station 27 east of I-405 just north of Evergreen Health. 

Meeting Information

Key Features

This levy will enable us to hire 20 additional firefighter/EMTs, and provide for necessary maintenance and operations. Specifically, it allows the Fire Department to acquire pandemic response equipment, including replenishing and stockpiling personal protection equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, gloves, gowns, and other resources.  




Currently, stations 21, 22, and 26 have three firefighter/EMTs, one engine, and one aid car. The descriptions of each station's staffing and vehicles can be seen below. Station 26 also has a battalion chief that is shown in the darker red color. Stations 25 and 27 have four and six firefighter/EMTs respectively. Station 27 has seven firefighter/EMTs as it staffs an engine, two aid cars and has a crew of three dedicated to operating the ladder truck.



Once the Fire Department hires these twenty additional firefighter/EMTs and construction on Station 24 is complete in the fall of 2021, the new distribution of staffing will look like the image below. Each additional firefighter/EMT is shown with a blue box around them. The hiring of the twenty firefighters will take time to complete. There are only two firefighter/EMT academies each year and the City of Kirkland is limited by several factors on the number of new firefighter/EMTs that can be successfully hired, trained and evaluated at one time.

 Graphic image representing Kirkland fire stations and staffing

Ten of the twenty additional firefighter/EMTs will provide a dedicated aid car at station 22 in Houghton, to respond to medical emergency calls at the busiest station in the south half of the City. Of the remaining ten firefighter/EMTs, five would staff one position at the new station 24 in North Juanita, creating a fully cross-staffed crew of three, and the last five would provide a fourth firefighter/EMT at station 26 in Rose Hill.

Fire Station Investments

This ballot measure will build a new station 27 in Totem Lake, modernize and seismically renovate stations 22 in Houghton, 21 in Forbes Creek, 26 in N. Rose Hill, and allow the Fire Department to either construct or purchase a temporary fire station to house the firefighter/EMTs while stations are renovated. 

station-27-image.png Fire station 27 is the City’s busiest fire station. It was built in the 1970s through a voter approved bond that passed in 1972. That same voter-approved bond also funded the replacement and relocation of station 25 from central Finn Hill to the current location at the corner of Juanita Drive and Holmes Point Drive.



future-location-27.png This levy funds the construction and relocation of a new fire station 27 that houses eight firefighter/EMTs, two aid cars, an engine, and the ladder truck. It would also become the City’s second fire station East of I-405 (along with fire station 26). The property for new station 27 was purchased by the City in 2019 through an interfund loan and is located just north of EvergreenHealth. Above is a photo of the property. It is located at 13118 121st Way NE, Kirkland, WA 98034. The project is estimated to cost $28,500,000. 


station-locations.png This picture shows the location of current station 27 (top left corner) and the proposed site of new station 27, just North of EvergreenHealth on the right-hand side, east of I-405. 



Station-22.png Station 22 in Houghton, 21 in Forbes Creek, and 26 in N. Rose Hill require seismic renovations and modernization to improve firefighter/EMT health and safety as well as response times. Station 22 was built in the 1970s through a voter-approved bond in 1978 and serves the City’s south end including the new Kirkland Urban. This project is estimated at $9,600,000. 



BALLOT-Station21.jpg Station 21 (left) in Forbes Creek, and station 26 (left and down) in N. Rose hill were built in the 1990s with a voter-approved bond that passed in 1990. Both stations require similar updates to station 22 with seismic reinforcement and modernization to provide for firefighter/EMT health and safety upgrades and improved response times. Station 21 is estimated to cost $6,100,000 and station 26 is estimated to cost $8,400,000.  








While new station 27 is built, the crew can remain at current station 27. While station 21 is renovated, crew can respond out of station 26. However, while stations 22 and 26 are renovated, a temporary fire station is required to provide a safe level of service to the community. The City was primarily exploring the option of a temporary fire station that would operate out of the Houghton Park and Ride and be there for nine months to a year. This project is estimated at $3,200,000. However, the City is still exploring other, more affordable options and will have a recommendation to the City Council in early 2021.


This webpage contains many background materials. From Council presentations and memorandums, related ordinances and resolutions, to informational videos about the ballot measure investments, please feel free to have a look around or contact Andreana Campbell, the Fire and EMS Ballot Measure project manager at (425) 587-3013 if you have questions.

The Council adopted Ordinance O-4731(PDF, 10MB)  at its July 21, 2020 Council meeting placing a $0.23513/$1,000 levy lid lift on the November 3 ballot. Kirkland voters approved the measure with over 71 percent support. 

This levy would have an annual impact of $171 per year for the median valued home, or just over $14.25 per month. According to the King County Assessor’s Office, the median valued home in Kirkland for 2020 is $730,000. To calculate the impact this measure would have on your home’s property taxes, please visit the King County Assessor’s Office tax tool. Once on the page, you may need to click the far-right tab labeled, “Tax” and input your home address. You will see the “Proposed Tax Changes” this measure’s tax rate has on your home’s assessed valuation. To the left of that window you will see a breakdown of your property’s 2019 property taxes and the additional impact of this levy.

The chart below lists the fire station and additional firefighter/EMT investments. Please click the image to view the information in PDF format. Below the chart is additional information about these investments. 

 BALLOT-MEASURE-fire-investmentschart.jpg(PDF, 180KB)


ComSAG-Final-Report-Icon.jpg(PDF, 24MB)Download the Community Safety
Advisory Group Full Report(PDF, 24MB)

documents-icon.pngView the Fire & EMS survey results:
Phone (statistically valid)(PDF, 557KB) |Online(PDF, 1MB)

documents-icon.pngView Ordinance O-4731 authorizing the placement of a Fire
and Emergency Medical Services measure to be placed on
the November 3 ballot: Ordinance O-4731(PDF, 10MB)