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Consulting group to head up study, take input from public at March 15 meeting.

HOLLY M. GILL - A community meeting to allow input on the possible consolidation of Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services and the Jefferson County Fire Department will be held Thursday, March 15, at 6 p.m., in the Maccie Conroy Building at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.Do you have an opinion on whether or not the local fire and ambulance operations should merge into one entity?

A community meeting to take public input on the issue is set for Thursday, March 15, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, starting at 6 p.m.

The Matrix Consulting Group has been hired by the county to head up a study on a potential merger, and impacts on economic and operational fronts.

Most comunities in the region have fire and ambulance services provided by one entity economically maintained via a tax base.

Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 does have a tax base, but the independent Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services operation does not. JCEMS operates primarily by billing users of its services.

An attempt to establish a tax base for the EMS went down by a wide margin in the fall, largely due to calls that it should be merged with the fire department.

Such discussion has occurred for years, but the boards of the two entities have not pushed for a merger, though they do work closely together.

Those unable to attend the meeting can also provide feedback by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/JCfireEMS.

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