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Bodega Bay Ambulance - Meeting a Funding Challenge

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Bodega Bay Ambulance
Meeting a Funding Challenge

Whay this matters to YOU

By Vesta Copestakes

Back in the spring, Bodega Bay residents were asked to increase their fire service tax assessment to meet budget limitations. At community meetings and on a community internet bulletin board, the issue was hotly debated. The end result was that the ballot measure was rejected. That put the local fire department into a serious financial situation.  

You may be thinking that it doesn’t matter to you because you have your own fire department to protect your home and family. But because Bodega Bay is the Sonoma Coast, and we ALL go to the coast at some time during the year, we ALL need the protection this fire department offers...not just local residents. Fighting fires is a very small percentage of what this department does. Mostly it rescues people who fall off cliffs, run off roads, crash their cars and motorcycles, etc.

The fire department is still trying to access Prop 172 funds. It’s a slow process and should it happen, it will benefit 15 volunteer fire departments in our county. In the mean time rather than wait around, the Friends of Bodega Bay Fire District  are taking action by doing their own fundraising. 

Through a change.org petition to the Board of Supervisors, and an indiegogo.com funding campaign, people can show their support and donate money to pay for the Paramedic Ambulance. 

They can also donate directly to the fire department either by sending a check to Bodega bay Fire protection District, PO Box 6 / 510 California 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 or visit  the BBFPD.org website - click on Fundraising and use a credit card to donate. That way all the money goes toward the $74,000 they need to raise to pay the balance on the ambulance.

What’s important is that people who don’t LIVE in Bodega Bay and the coastal communities understand that they need this service - not just residents. The coast attracts visitors from around the world as well as from other parts of California - including us who live inland. We depend on the tourist tax (Transit Occupacy Tax - TOT) collected from visitors when they rent a hotel room, but it’s simply not enough.

The next time you get in your car, or jump on your motorcycle for a ride out to the coast, think about who comes to the rescue. When a driver goes into a turn too fast and slides off the road…when a car passes a slow-moving vehicle but can’t negotiate the next curve in the road so ends up straight off the cliff…when a diver or surfer gets caught in rogue waves, when a dog walker chases their pooch into the surf....it could be you who needs help.