Annexation affects Fire Department Staffing - Kirkland grows as Woodinville shrinks

Growth in Kirkland through annexation means Woodinville will need to adjust staffing of its fire department. Kirkland annexation will result in the closure of Woodinville Fire Station #34 in the Kingsgate area, set to close on May 31, 2011. According to The Woodinville Weekly, annexation will reduce revenues to the district by nearly 10 percent , putting the jobs of ten firefighters in jeopardy. There is hope among the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety that Kirkland will hire them for its expansion needs.

"There is a belief on the part of some that (Kirkland) has to take anyone that we decide to surplus." Daniels said. "There’s another belief that says if they (Kirkland) take anybody then they have to take all of them." he said.

Daniels said that was an issue that would be worked out over time. But he wanted to make one thing clear: "The district is not interested in laying our guys off," he said. "If we didn’t have to do it, we wouldn’t. But to some extent the district’s hands are tied."

He also stressed that the 10 layoffs would not necessarily come from station #34 but rather from across the district as a whole based on seniority and other factors.

"This is going on everywhere," he said. "This is the new normal, based on the economy and everybody’s impacted. At least in our case there’s less of a likelihood that folks won’t have jobs. Folks may end up in Kirkland, but they’ll be working."

The Woodinville Weekly