Alaska News

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ballot proposal trades fire protection for taxes on the outskirts of Anchorage

Along the Eagle River Valley, Turnagain Arm and a few other far-flung parts of Anchorage, a burning house or a brush fire poses a thorny dilemma for the Anchorage Fire Department. Property owners in some of the city's more rural regions don't pay taxes for fire service. A bill can be sent later if the Anchorage Fire Department decides to respond to a call, which was the case for a fire at the Turnagain Arm Pit restaurant in June 2016, and a house fire off Eagle River Road in September. But in both those cases, the final bill amounted to less than $5,000, a fraction of the total cost of the response, said Jodie Hettrick, deputy chief of operations at AFD. The resulting cost-shift to other taxpayers reflects a long-standing problem of paying for fire service in every part of Anchorage. One partial solution will likely appear on the city ballot in April: Anchorage Assemblywoman Amy Demboski wants voters to decide whether to add roughly 500 Eagle River Valley properties to Anchorage's fire service area.
Alaska Dispatch News

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

North Pole paramedic is a Hero of the Last Frontier

North Pole paramedic Matt Deatherage was selected as a Hero of the Last Frontier, when his name was drawn from among 500 nominees in an online contest. The Facebook contest, sponsored by LifeMed Alaska, honored first responders and drew hundreds of nominations statewide. LifeMed provides 24/7 critical care air ambulance service throughout the state. Although it is headquartered in Anchorage, it maintains base operations in Fairbanks, Soldotna, Bethel and Palmer. The company developed the contest to let people know it was expanding to southeast Alaska and also to highlight health care and emergency personnel who help make their service possible. Two names were drawn from the nominees: engineer and paramedic Matt Deatherage of North Pole and volunteer firefighter and emergency trauma technician Devren Bennett of Petersburg.
Fairbanks News-Miner

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