Fire department, EMS to discuss draft report on merger
Whether to merge or to remain separate entities will be the focus of a joint work session of the boards of directors for the Jefferson County Fire District and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services District on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the fire hall at 765 South Fifth St., from noon until 4 p.m.
The meeting is in response to the release of a draft report two months ago, which recommended consolidation of the two districts.
Over the past month, County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen, City Administrator Gus Burril, Fire Chief Brian Huff, and EMS Chief Mike Lepin have met three times to review the Fire District and Emergency Medical Services Consolidation Feasibility Study by Matrix Consulting Group. The Texas-based consultants, hired in March, released their draft report July 25.
On the agenda is discussion of two major options for the two districts: merging or remaining separate, along with the budget needs and organization for each of the options.
Key points under discussion will be the draft study's recommendations, which follow.
- The Jefferson County Fire District and the Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services District should move forward with seeking voter approval to form a single emergency service district.
- A permanent tax rate of $2.1847 per $1,000 assessed value will be needed to adequately fund the new district.
- The Jefferson County Fire District should seek voter approval for a local option tax of $1.00 per $1,000 assessed valuation to improve the sustainable revenues of the district.
-The Jefferson County Fire District and county should work with the Frontier Regional 911 Dispatch to ensure a single incident number is provided for each unique call and secondary apparatus or stations are included as part of the original call.
- The county, fire district and EMS district should work with the dispatch center to continue to improve their performance on processing and dispatching emergency calls for service.
- The Jefferson County EMS District should work to improve turnout times during the daytime, when staffing is present in the station.
- The Fire District should adopt a program for apparatus replacement that contains benchmarks and measurable components.
- The EMS District should adopt a program for ambulance replacement that contains benchmarks and measurable components.
Citizen input will occur at the beginning, and again at the end of the meeting.