Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood



                                                                                    October 23, 2002




Councilmember Jan Drago, Chair

Budget Committee and

Members of the Seattle City Council

11th Floor, Municipal Building

600 Fourth Avenue

Seattle, Washington  98104-1876                                 Fax 684-8587


Re:       Fire Department Cuts – Aid Car 17 and Engine 16


Dear Budget Chair Drago and Members of the Seattle City Council,


            The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees joins Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in urging you to restore the funding cuts to the Seattle Fire Department included in the Mayor’s proposed 2003-2004 budget.  Fire Department resources are already stretched thin.  The decommissioning of Aid Car 17 in the University District and closure of Engine 16 at Greenlake will impact emergency response times and public health and safety. 


            Aid Car 17 is the only aid car left north of the cut.  It responds with engine companies and medic units to resuscitations where there is ongoing CPR all over the north end of the city.  Decommissioning the unit would mean fewer resources available to provide these much-needed critical services.  It would also mean greater response times.  Without Aid Car 17, residents would have to rely upon Aid Cars from Capital Hill or downtown that would be confronted with traffic gridlock on Montlake Boulevard or traffic congestion in the University District.  Aid Car 17 also fills in for Engine 38 when that engine is called to help fight fires in other parts of the city. 


            Decommissioning of Engine 16 would have impacts throughout northeast Seattle.  It would mean that Engines 38 and 40 would be responsible for larger geographical areas and the response time to critical emergencies will increase.  A delay of several minutes could mean the difference between life and death for a heart attack victim.  Delays could also mean that a house fire could become a multi-house fire, particularly in areas of higher density and where there are multi-family units. 


In order to allow the Fire Department to accomplish its mission of minimizing the loss of life and property resulting from fires and to respond to medical emergencies and other disasters, adequate resources must be provided.  We have a commitment to fire fighters who routinely put their lives on the line and a duty to citizens to adequately protect lives and property.  This commitment must be reflected in the budget. 


            We hope you will consider the views of the Laurelhurst Community Club and maintain funding for the Seattle Fire Department at current levels. 



Jeannie Hale, President

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / Fax: 206-525-9631