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WCFD7 gets 2 big wins with FEMA grant and lower bond rate

Firefighters at the scene of a house fire in the 2300 block of Brown Road (July 18,2018). Photo courtesy of Whatcom County Fire District 7

FERNDALE, Wash. — Whatcom County Fire District 7 (WCFD7) recently received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and learned their higher than expected credit rating results in a lower property tax for their voter approved bond.

WCFD7 Fire Chief Larry Hoffman announced today they have been awarded a FEMA grant in the AFG Program. The grant of $485,692 will be used to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) that will replace soon to be out-dated units. The breathing apparatus protect firefighters when they enter hazardous atmosphere.

The AFG Program provides $345 million in Fire and EMS Operations and Safety Grants, Firefighting and Emergency Vehicle Grants and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants from $1,000 to nearly $1 million.

Other Whatcom County fire districts receiving Assistance to Firefighters Grants include WCFD17 ($18,654) and Bellingham Fire District ($318,440).

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WCFD7 also announced S&P Global Ratings awarded them a credit rating of AA (a step below AAA which is the top rating). This means property tax payers will not have to pay as high a tax as was initially projected due to the lower interest rate, 2.27%, locked in for the bond issue.

According to Hoffman, it was initially projected that a property assessed at $350,000 would be taxed $24.50 per year. With the lower than expected interest rate, that amount is now $17.50.

WCFD7’s $3.5 million bond issue will enable replacing 16-year-old trucks and equipment.


  1. Al Saab October 30, 2019

    Al Saab. Congrats guy’s just a great example of how well you run WCFD 7

  2. Yvonne Goldsmith October 30, 2019

    This is good news and congratulations to the terrific WCFD7 group.

  3. Wynne Lee November 3, 2019

    Helpful to see how much some equipment costs. Doubt many county residents know that fire vehicles now cost close to $500k each and need replacing in less than 20 yrs.

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