Officials from Snohomish County Fire District 1 and Edmonds celebrated their new regional fire service partnership with a reception held a Fire District 1 Headquarters recently.
“This partnership is about fire service regionalization and the benefits it can bring to the citizens we serve over the long term,” said Fire District 1 Board Chairman Jim Kenny. We’ve seen firsthand how regionalization reduces duplication in administration, improves operating efficiency and provides better opportunities for sharing resources. This contract is crafted to create a win-win situation that evenly benefits citizens in both jurisdictions in a way that is fiscally responsible and fair.
Elected officials in both jurisdictions established their regional fire service partnership with a long-term contract for service approved in November. Under the contract, which took effect Jan. 1, Edmonds pays Fire District 1 an annual fee for service and Fire District 1 assumes responsibility for staffing and operating Edmonds’ three fire stations to provide fire and emergency medical service to city residents. All 54 Edmonds Fire Department employees became employees of Fire District 1 on Jan. 1. Firefighters’ unions from both departments supported the consolidation and long-term contract, which calls for maintaining current staffing levels at the three fire stations in Edmonds. Current staffing levels will also continue at Fire District 1 stations.
Fire District 1 has been a leader in promoting fire service regionalization for a decade, beginning with a successful merger with Fire District 11 in 1999. In 2005, Fire District 1 consolidated with the Mountlake Terrace Fire Department to provide service to Mountlake Terrace and Brier under long-term contracts similar to the Edmonds agreement. The partnership with Edmonds makes Fire District 1 the largest fire service provider in Snohomish County with 254 employees and 11 fire stations serving more than 225,000 citizens.