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Representatives of Sandy Fire will host a virtual town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN  - Representatives of the Sandy Fire District will host a virtual town hall meeting and district board work session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4. Just over a year ago, Sandy Fire District entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Clackamas Fire District No. 1 in hopes of mutually benefitting the agencies' service areas by providing additional supports for an increasing number of calls. As of Dec. 21, Sandy Fire alone had responded to 2,500 calls in 2021, which Sandy Fire Division Chief Jason McKinnon says is the highest the department has ever had.

Now, the two districts are conducting a study to find out how they could serve their communities better, and they need your help.

With the feasibility study, Sandy and Clackamas Fire hope to analyze each fire district's current service delivery, organizational structure, financial sustainability and more. In the future, this study will also help the districts "(identify) and describe opportunities and challenges of further collaboration or integration (between the districts), provide recommendations regarding various proposed options for each agency remaining autonomous and (work) within the current or amended Intergovernmental Agreement, Contract for Service and/or legal integration."

Similar studies have been done by Clackamas Fire with other partnering agencies, such as Estacada Fire, and the decision was later made that the two would integrate.

McKinnon assures that the feasibility study in Sandy is not with the intention to integrate, but to look at what kind of relationship between Sandy and Clackamas would be the most beneficial for the service area.

"We're not looking to change the identity of Sandy Fire District now," McKinnon explained. "We aren't looking for a merger. We're trying to find out what's best for our citizens."

To this end, as a preliminary step to the study, the Sandy district is sending out a survey to residents and local business owners asking for input on its current service.

Questions on the survey include:

  • "What do you expect of your fire districts? This would include such things as level of service, type of service, behavior of fire department personnel, etc.
  • What do you think the districts do particularly well?
  • What concerns do you have about the districts (the services they deliver, or the way in which they deliver them)?
  • Of the services provided by the fire districts, which are more or less important to you?
  • What advantages or disadvantages do you see with expanding the districts' partnership opportunities?
  • What other ideas do you have to share with the districts as they begin this project?"
  • The survey is completely confidential and compiled results will be published in a final report by independent consulting firm AP Triton, LLC.

    Before the survey goes live, representatives of the Sandy Fire District will host a virtual town hall meeting and district board work session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4. This public is encouraged to attend this meeting.

    If you would like to attend, use the link below to join:

    clackamasfire.zoom.us/j/97610647494. The passcode is 473082.

    The survey will be available online at surveymonkey.com/r/Sandy-Clackamas immediately following the meeting and close at 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10.


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