By Harry Gatjens
The Regional Fire Authority Planning Committee had its first meeting Tuesday night, and Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper was elected to chair the group.
The Washington State Legislature in 2005 enacted a law that permits municipalities to combine resources and personnel to provide fire and emergency medical services on a regional basis. Representatives of several local municipalities have been talking for a while about pursuing the idea, and on Jan. 31 held an information meeting for those interested in learning more. The consensus at the end of that meeting was to form the planning committee that met Tuesday in Edmonds.
During the meeting, organizers set up the rules for the committee’s work and the structure. It was decided that each of the involved organizations would get just one vote per group, regardless of the number of representatives particpating in the planning process. Participating organizations are Snohomish County Fire Districts 1 and 7, the town of Woodway, and the cities of Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Lynwood, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Mill Creek.
The committee also formed three subcommittees: Communications, Level of Service and Finance. Each of the involved organizations can appoint one person to each committee. In addition, each of the three unions representing workers in the member organizations can have a subcommittee representative, although they will be non-voting members.
Future Regional Fire Authority Planning Committee meetings will be held monthly in locations rotating among the members.