Proposition 1 (Emergency Communications Systems and Facilities sales and use tax) was on the ballot for voter approval on April 25, 2017. I am happy to report that the initiative passed with nearly 82% approval. I would like to thank all the voters who supported the continuation of this funding. It has contributed to the modern and robust communications system that is used by your first responders across Spokane County every day.
I’d like to share some of the immediate improvements we are planning with this continued funding. By July of this year, you will receive information regarding the upgrade to Alert Spokane, which is the notification system that we use to contact you during an emergency. This upgrade to Alert Spokane allows for us to provide you with information about evacuations, shelter-in-place instructions, or other vital information. Alert Spokane will soon integrate well with mobile phones, tablets and other devices that many of you now rely on for contact and information.
Your emergency responders are already working to bring you “Next Generation 911” services. “Next Gen 911” will include the ability to text message an emergency to 911, send photos and video to 911, to be shared with the responders en route to your emergency. The majority of this new technology will be phased in during the 2018 calendar year.
Thank you for your continued support!
Bryan Collins, SVFD Fire Chief
Note: Spokane County’s Proposition 1 renewed the existing 1/10th of 1% local sales and use tax that helps operate, maintain and improve Emergency Communication Systems and services in Spokane County. This is not a new tax. It was first approved by voters in 2008.