Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue earns 12th consecutive Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
For the 12th year in a row, Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue has received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The award recognizes transparency and excellence in government finance.
“This award recognizes our commitment to effective policy and financial planning to meet the current and future needs of our community,” Fire Chief Jerry Helm said. “Our budgeting practices consistently meet the highest quality in transparency and accountability, both of which are key to maintaining public trust.”
Central Whidbey Fire operates under a balanced budget, has passed all its independent financial and accountability audits and is one of the few fire districts in the nation to have a AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s. The fire district responds to 1,715 calls per year, of which 60 percent are for emergency medical service (EMS).
The fire district is considering asking voters to approve a fire levy lid lift sometime this year to fund additional emergency personnel. Call volumes have increased by 50 percent since the last lid lift in 2012. Revenue is not keeping up with the demand for service.
The fire district’s funding decisions are guided by its strategic plan. The plan is approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners who are elected to represent the community’s priorities. Additionally, the board receives monthly financial reports, which are available to the public on the website’s fire commissioners’ page. All board meetings are open to the public.