Baker City Ambulance Service Information
- Will there still be ambulance service?
Yes! Baker County is working to insure ambulance service will continue within the Baker Ambulance Service Area.
- Will the Fire Department still be able to enter a burning building?
Yes they will. Our skilled Fire Department staff will still be able to enter a burning building to save lives per OSHA regulations and laws, even with the proposed staff model. The proposed staff model actually offers MORE staff on duty to respond to fire calls. The City also has mutual-aid agreements and great partnerships with other departments such as North Powder and Baker Rural Fire Department. They all can assist when we have a larger fire if needed.
- Is the city hiding money?
No; the city is not hiding money just to cut ambulance. The city budget shows all available funds to be utilized to provide city services. There are no separate savings accounts or places to funnel money. The City only receives approximately $2.9 million in property taxes for the general fund which is not enough to cover the police department, fire department, finance and administration.
- Will my home insurance rates go up with less Fire staff?
Your home insurance rates are not anticipated to go up. Our discussions with ISO, indicate our ratings will stay the same.
- Has the City been actively working with the County on this issue?
Yes, very much so. Baker City and Baker County have met for since at least 2016 regarding this issue. Since 1991, the city and county have had concerns for sustainable funding for ambulance service.
- Does the city have a contract with Baker County for ambulance service?
Currently, there is no contract between Baker City and Baker County regarding ambulance service. There have been several meetings and talks with the county to propose a contract, however no contract is in place at this time.
- Is the City really cutting the Fire Department by 50%?
The city IS NOT cutting the fire department by 50%. There are 17 positions at the fire department. The city has been short staffed over the last year and not all positions have been filled. The target staffing model will include 10 positions. The new staff model is used by other Oregon cities, who have a greater call volume. Other than ambulance service, all other fire services will remain intact.
- Is it the County's responsibility to pick an ambulance provider?
Yes, per Oregon State Statute, ORS 682.062, It is the county's responsibility to choose a provider for the Ambulance Service Area.
- Why has this not been talked about before?
There have been talks within the last 30+ years regarding finding a sustainable funding source for our ambulance service that dates back to 1991. The documents available on our website, show the ongoing discussions of this issue.