County and city officials will meet with fire and EMS to discuss the possibility of restructuring.

HOLLY M. GILL - Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services will meet Sept. 19, with city and county officials, to discuss operations.Members of local fire and emergency districts, as well as leaders from Jefferson County, and the cities of Madras, Culver and Metolius will meet Tuesday, Sept. 19, to discuss the districts' operations, as well as the possibility of restructuring.

Chief Liz Heckathorn, of Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services, and Chief Brian Huff, of Jefferson County Fire District No. 1, will give updates on the current status of their operations.

The meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m., at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, was scheduled by the Jefferson County Commission and the Madras City Council to encourage communication among the different entities about the best way to serve the public.

"A few months ago, individual members of the Madras City Council and Jefferson County Board of Commissioners attempted to start some dialogue with EMS and fire districts officials seeking information on service levels and operational issues after the EMS tax levy failed," explained Jeff Rasmussen, county administrator. "At that time, both the EMS District Board and the Fire District No. 1 District Board thought the best course of action would be to gather all local governing bodies for a larger meeting on a very important topic."

Besides JCFD and JCEMS, the County Commission, Madras City Council, Lake Chinook Fire District, and the Culver and Metolius city councils were all invited to participate.

"Since your boundaries include either the Fire District No. 1 or the EMS District's Ambulance Service Area (ASA), you are invited to participate," said Rasmussen.

Guest speaker George Dunkel, of the Special District Association of Oregon, will discuss fire and EMS service structure options. The groups will also consider a service level study.

Near the end of the meeting, the public will have the opportunity to comment, with a three-minute limit per person.

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