Cahaba Valley Fire District planning to bring back ambulance service, positions after vote this week

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 9:56 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re learning more about the plans the Cahaba Valley Fire District has after people voted this week to increase their annual fire dues by $125.

The Cahaba Valley Fire District says the increase in fire dues will help the department bring back its ambulance service and at least 12 positions it cut last November. While they didn’t get everything they wanted, Chief Buddy Wilks says voters passed the two things they needed the most.

“Definitely, we’re going to get the ambulance back up and running and get our staffing back in place, but also hopefully we’re able to raise pay for our firefighters,” Wilks said.

When the ambulance service was cut last year, Wilks says they saw about a 50% increase in response times. He’s hoping when service returns, those times will decrease. The department has also seen an increase in multiple calls at the same time.

Wilks believes the increase in dues will help with that as well.

“This will greatly improve our ability to handle say all three responses simultaneously,” Wilks said.

Wilks is hoping more staffing and ambulances will allow them to help other departments as well. He’s also looking into creating more community focus groups to get feedback from residents.

Here’s a breakdown of the vote, according to CVFD:

  • Item 1 for the approval change to Schedule of Service Charges passed. Yes - 818 , No - 403
  • Item 2 for the additional 4% during FY25, FY26, FY27 and FY28 did not pass. Yes - 609, No - 735
  • Item 3 for the capital improvement fee did not pass. Yes - 637 , No - 698
  • Item 4 to allow to bill for costs not covered by insurance passed. Yes - 868 , No - 475

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