Following a public hearing on October 20, 2015, the City Council adopted Resolution R-5156 and Resolution R-5163 clarifying the intent of an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Kirkland and the former Fire District 41 and adopting short-term and long-term strategies to improve fire and EMS services and new and renovated fire stations.
On September 15, 2015, the City Council received an update (PDF) on the North Kirkland Fire Station project in preparation for an October 6, 2015 public hearing regarding a resolution clarifying the intent of the 2011 interlocal agreement between Fire District #41 and the City. The resolution would allow the renovation of Fire Station 25 and the purchase of property for a new Station 24 using Fire District #41 funds.
Additionally, the City Manager asked for feedback regarding his recommendations for alternative improved north end fire and emergency services plan. Council directed staff to reserve funds to purchase land for a new Fire Station 27 instead of Finn Hill barricade options.
On January 20, 2015, the City Council received a report
on the impacts to response times and firefighter staffing levels of a new North Kirkland fire station. After reviewing current call volumes and response times at Fire Station 27, and potential impacts to these components with a new station in the Finn Hill-Juanita neighborhoods, the Council affirmed their support of a dual station model.
The City Council was presented a report regarding the North Kirkland Fire Station Siting at their Study Session on November 18, 2014
(pdf 4.59MB). The siting study identified two preferred locations for a new fire station to serve the north central area of Kirkland. The first site is at the intersection of NE 132nd Street and the second site in the Finn Hill-Juanita neighborhood at the 100th Avenue NE intersection. These two sites provide the greatest improvement in response time to the largest number of Kirkland residents; both allowing four-minute emergency response travel time.
The City has begun community outreach with neighborhood associations and school officials to better understand citizen concerns and due diligence studies of both sites are also underway. These studies include evaluating traffic impacts, property conditions, and appraisals. The study results will be shared at neighborhood association meetings and through City email subscriptions.
In August 2014, the City Council received an update on the North Kirkland Fire Station Siting Study
(pdf 13.65MB; previously titled the Finn Hill Fire Station Siting Study). The study evaluated 22 sites and a single station and dual station model: the single station alternative proposed replacing Fire Station 24 and 25 with one station located in the northwest area of the City, while the dual station model proposed maintaining Fire Station 25 at its current location and building a new station in the City’s northwest corner.
The City Council supported the dual station model and directed further study of the two identified properties on
NE 132nd Street and 100th Ave NE. Additionally, Council directed staff to broaden the analysis to other properties in the area. The consultant, TCA Architecture, identified four additional sites that were considered by the City Council during the November 18, 2014 Study Session.
The dual station model is also supported by the 2014 Standards of Coverage and Deployment Plan
(PDF) as it provides for improved service to Finn Hill and the Totem Lake and Juanita areas where the highest call volume occurs. The map reflects call volume throughout the City. The red areas are where the highest number of 9-1-1 emergency service calls are dispatched.
In the short term, the proposed Fire Station 24 location and the current Fire Station 27 will be approximately one mile from each other. The long-term plan is to move Fire Station 27 to the east side of Interstate 405 (I-405). The Standards of Coverage and Deployment Plan recommended that Fire Station 27 be relocated east of I-405 to address a coverage gap in northeast Kirkland and provide strategic alignment with the recommended relocation of Fire Station 24. This move would locate two Kirkland fire stations east of I-405 to provide better coverage in the event an earthquake limits the response to the east side of the freeway. Fire Station 27 was identified in the 2013 Fire Department Strategic Plan
as one of three Kirkland fire stations needing replacement because of aging infrastructure and modern fire and medical service needs. Funding for replacement of Fire Station 27 and the other two fire stations will need to be determined as part of the long term plan.
King County Fire Protection District #41 governed fire and emergency medical services through a contract with the City of Kirkland fire department prior to the City of Kirkland Annexing the Finn Hill, North Juanita, and Kingsgate areas. After annexation in June 2011, the governance was transferred to the City.
A requirement of this transfer (initiated through an Interlocal Agreement) was to complete several large–scale plans, including siting and constructing a new fire station to better serve the Finn Hill area.