RFA report shows good growth and met goals

Local firefighters are seeing more calls, higher ratings

Renton Fire Chief Rick Marshall

Renton Fire Chief Rick Marshall

Firefighters in Renton kept the fires back, and took some steps to improve their services last year.

Renton Regional Fire Authority (RFA) has released their 2018 report, detailing the numbers and ratings of the services they’ve offered to Renton, and what they accomplished with their $37.7 million operating budget.

The Public Protection Class rating was upgraded from a class three to a class two in 2018, putting the fire authority in the top 5 percent of fire and life safety agencies in the U.S.

This factors into insurance premiums and means property owners saw savings in their insurance premiums for 2019, according to the report.

Renton RFA credits the upgraded rating to its creation, when voters agreed to separate the fire authority from the city in 2016.

Being able to get the funding needed to improve their resources from the Renton RFA Governance Board helped offer higher property fire protections, Fire Chief Rick Marshall stated in the report.

The property tax rate for Renton homeowners increased when the Renton Regional Fire Authority separated its taxing from the city. In 2018, the fire authority tax rate was increased at $100 per $100,000 of assessed value, as well as a fire benefit charge related to the size of the building and hazards associated with it.

The Renton RFA also completely separated from the City of Renton finance department, and moved its offices out of city hall and into Fire Station 13, the final moves for the Renton RFA going out on its own.

“While leasing space was an option, how we utilize taxpayer funds to maximize our value to the community is always at the forefront,” Marshall stated in his message in the fire report. “By strategizing around out existing space, our long-term savings potential is significant.”

The 2018 year also included the fast construction, equipping and staffing of Fire Station 15, which will service the Kennydale area and parts of Interstate 405. Twelve new firefighters also started training for Renton RFA.

The numbers

Renton RFA responded to 22,840 calls in 2018.

The fire station had an almost 400 more responses over 2017, but the distribution between fire stations was roughly the same. This year, Fire Station 11, in downtown Renton handled 26 percent of the responses, with fire stations 12 and 13 coming in second both at around 20 percent.

About 5 percent of calls were responded to by someone out of the area.

Of those responses, 70 percent were emergency medical incidents, or 15,981 incidents. The second highest call was false alarms, at 11 percent, or 2,552 calls. Fires were only 6 percent of incidents, or 1,464.

Over half of the fires in 2018 were either structure fires, 37 percent, or brush fires, 24 percent.

Investigations of fires increased in 2018, and the report states this was due to training.

Fire Marshall Anjela Barton stated in an email that as three Deputy Fire Marshalls had just completed certification training, they wanted to provide more hands-on opportunities, which meant investigating fires they wouldn’t normally investigate.

About 13 new employees started with Renton RFA, one a public educator, and 16 employees either retired or separated.

More information on the 2018 annual report, as well as 2017 and 2016, is available at rentonrfa.com/annual-reports.

More in News

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is among supporters of statewide “just cause” legislation to protect tenants in Washington. However, some landlords say removing the ability to quickly remove tenants limits their ability to get rid of problem renters. (Courtesy image)
Tenant advocates prepare for another push in Olympia

Following wins in Burien and Federal Way, just cause evictions are on the 2020 Legislative agenda.

Fire along Twisp River Road in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest in 2018. Courtesy photo
Wildfire response: State unveils funding legislation proposal

Last year, Department of Natural Resources responded to record number of wildfires.

A new report, complete with recommendations to the Legislature, has been released by a statewide task force that was formed to address a lack of child care in Washington. File photo
Report outlines lack of child care in Washington

In King County, supply doesn’t meet demand for child care.

Racing left Renton, still bothers residents

Police say efforts were successful, but racers just moved across the city border

Renton Rotary selects Youth of the Month for December

The award is given to students who have leadership abilities, maintain a good GPA and volunteer in the community.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Booths for kids to make Christmas tree decorations were one of the highlights at the pop-up market during the downtown tree lighting in Renton. Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Renton Pavilion Events Center.
Lighting up the holiday season

Photos by Haley Ausbun. Renton Small Business Saturday and Downtown Tree Lighting,… Continue reading

Photo by Danny Rodgers for The Salvation Army.
                                Seattle Seahawks Defensive End L.J. Collier volunteers at The Salvation Army community meal on Wednesday, Nov. 26, helping serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The Salvation Army serves a free meal to the public, Monday through Thursday, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Also pictured are Captain Isaias Braga, director of The Salvation Army in Renton, and Larissa Braga, volunteer.
Seahawk feeds Rentonites in need

Photo by Danny Rodgers for The Salvation Army. Seattle Seahawks Defensive End… Continue reading

Council asks – who will fill Pavone’s seat?

City Council discusses future appointments after election

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Wyman and Vicky Dobson, as Wyman Dobson receives a certificate and medal for being a founder of the Nishiwaki-Renton sister cities. Wyman recently retired and sold his family building, where he had been an attorney for 59 years.
Dobson shuts his doors, leaves behind a nearly 60-year legacy

Long-time local lawyer, leader chooses to retire

Most Read