Benton Co. Fire District #1 is looking to create a local EMS program to help speed up ambulance response times.
The program would be funded by a levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The money would go towards purchasing and staffing two ambulances to respond to medical calls. The district estimates the program will reduce response times by as much as seven minutes.
Fire Chief Lonnie Click said the program will also help support the growing community.
"The demand on the fire service and the whole basin is continuing to escalate," Click said. "It’s time for us to go to the next level and start providing for our taxpayers instead of relying on our mutual aide partners."