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Published on Friday, March 1, 2013

Regional fire authority bill moving through the Legislature

HB 1654 allows a single city to form a regional fire protection service authority (RFA).

RFAs are separate taxing districts charged with providing regional fire protection and emergency services within their jurisdictional boundaries. RFAs are formed from two or more adjacent fire protection jurisdictions coming together to serve the combined jurisdiction. Washington currently has seven RFAs. This bill would allow an RFA to be formed within a single city rather than an area with two or more adjacent fire protection jurisdictions.

Further changes in the bill would allow an RFA to establish an ambulance service in competition with an existing private ambulance service, as long as the RFA determines that all or a substantial portion of the area served is not adequately served by the private company.

The bill awaits action in the House Rules Committee.

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