Kenwood Press

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News: 01/15/2015

Rescheduled fire services review meeting

In an ongoing process to review fire services throughout the county and come up with ideas for a more efficient system, the County of Sonoma is holding a meeting to share input received to date and to provide an update on data collection efforts. This meeting was first scheduled for last Dec. 11, but bad weather cancelled that date. The new date is Jan. 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Sonoma County Veterans Memorial Building at 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, in the Santa Rosa Lodge Room. Interested members of the public are invited to attend.

In September, under the direction of the county’s Board of Supervisors, county staff began a project to review the operations of the some 20 independent fire districts in the unincorporated areas of the county, and the 15 all-volunteer fire departments that operate under the umbrella of the county’s Fire and Emergency Services Department.

In recent years, the Board of Supervisors has been concerned about the challenges facing some of the different fire organizations, including financial problems, changing demographics, and a lack of volunteers.

As part of the first phase of the fire services project, county officials have made presentations to 31 individual fire agencies, seven presentations to the two public ambulance provider agencies, the Emergency Medical Care Council, the City Managers, the Fire District’s Association, the Volunteer Fire Company Association, and the Local Agency Formation Commission, and provided updates and information to the Fire Chiefs and other stakeholder groups. In addition, staff held 11 community meetings throughout the county to explain the project to the stakeholder groups and gather input on the scope. The Jan. 26 meeting will bring the first phase of the project to a close, and launch the second phase of the project, where the collected data will be analyzed and recommendations will be developed with the help of an advisory committee.

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