The Cambridge Area EMS and the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department have created an online survey in an attempt to verify that we are addressing the public’s concerns, get valuable feedback, and clarify information for the public regarding the April 2021 station expansion referendum. We want to hear from you and are asking for five minutes of your time.

As most already know, the existing station was designed to house smaller departments that went on a fraction of today’s calls, with smaller and fewer pieces of equipment. It was full shortly after it was completed 36 years ago, and the daily operational needs of the station have outgrown the existing space, causing ongoing problems for at least the last 20 years.

Now the station simply does not allow the two organizations to function safely, effectively or efficiently for you, and every year things get worse and will continue to do so until changes are made. The current proposal was five years in the making. And it will require the communities of Cambridge, Rockdale, Christiana, Oakland and the town of Lake Mills approving five different referendums to even begin. At the proposed amount of $6.5 million, residents of Cambridge will pay $61 for every $100,000 of assessed valuation annually for 20 years. Residents of the Town of Christiana will pay $60, Town of Lake Mills $4, Oakland $50, and Rockdale $66 according to calculations made by Robert W. Baird & Co for the Cambridge Area Fire and EMS Commission, based on the equalized valuation of the respective communities for 2020.

We have received many questions from residents and are always happy to address them. We understand that any station needs to be safe for the first responders in it, and right for the communities it serves, and we sure appreciate the passion residents have for what happens in their community.

Therefore, we’re working hard to hear once again from residents as the referendum vote nears. You can visit http://bit.ly/CambridgeEMS to take the online survey. It is also available at the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department and Cambridge Area EMS websites and Facebook pages.

Thank you for your help.

- Chief Terry Johnson, Cambridge Fire Dept.

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