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Ripon Fire tax set at $125 per year for a single home
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Passage of Measure A on the June 5 ballot would provide Ripon Consolidated Fire District with $1.2 million a year to fund the new Station 3 at North Ripon and River roads 24/7 with nine firefighters or three for each shift.
The proposed parcel tax is set at just over $10 a month or $125 a year for single family homes. Other parcel taxes include $55 a year for any sized vacant parcel. The disparity is based on the fact occupied homes generate significantly more demand for fire department services than land without buildings on it.
Nearly 90 percent of calls a typical fire department handles is for medical emergencies.
The new station that opened last year is staffed only with volunteers. Paid personnel are based at the Stockton Avenue station near downtown.
Fire Chief Dennis Bitters said Wednesday that he hopes to place his reserve ambulance at the new station and use the same staff to respond to medical emergencies in the surrounding area in what he referred to as “cross staffing.”  The existing ambulance will remain at the headquarters station in downtown Ripon. Such a move would reduce response times and increase the odds for favorable outcomes in medical emergencies.
The Escalon Ambulance often stages at Station 3 and can be called upon to back up the Ripon emergency calls during high demand periods.
Ripon does not do patient transfers. It is specifically a paramedic response vehicle. 
The Fire Department Citizens Advisory Group met for some seven months determining the department’s needs. That led to the Measure A ballot proposal.
Bitters noted that Medical and Medicare patients who fail to pay the balance of their ambulance charges have left the department with losses of over $1 million last year.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email