NEWS FROM SOUTH COUNTY FIRE
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Voters approve South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue RFA
Preliminary election results indicate that voters in Lynnwood and Fire District 1 have approved the creation and funding of the South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue (SSCFR) Regional Fire Authority (RFA). The new SSCFR will consolidate and standardize resources and provide sustainable and stable funding for fire and emergency medical services.
Lynnwood and Fire District 1 will now move forward with formally establishing the South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue Regional Fire Authority, which will assume service responsibility effective October 1, 2017. Existing fire personnel and equipment will be transferred to SSCFR, and residents can expect a seamless service transition.
Initially, the SSCFR will be governed by a transitional Board of Commissioners consisting of two Lynnwood elected officials and five Fire District 1 Commissioners. The SSCFR Board of Commissioners regular meeting schedule has yet to be determined.
In July 2016, the City and Fire District 1 entered into a blended management agreement combining the administrative staff of the Lynnwood Fire Department and Fire District 1 with a two-year time frame to give the City and District an opportunity to explore regional fire service models.
Lynnwood and Fire District 1 leadership and staff proposed an RFA Plan after 10 months of review, analysis, outreach and planning. An RFA Planning Committee of three elected officials from each jurisdiction was established in October 2016 to guide the process. Both the Lynnwood City Council and the Fire District Board of Commissioners passed resolutions to forward the RFA Plan to a public vote.
“The RFA Planning Committee developed Proposition 1 with the community’s best interest in mind, and we are pleased to see that both Fire District residents and Lynnwood residents have voted in favor of creating the new South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue Regional Fire Authority,” said Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith.
With the blended management agreement, Lynnwood and Fire District 1 have already realized a $1.2 million savings, increased efficiencies and reduced redundancies in order to provide better fire and emergency medical services to our residents. “Having a regional fire service provider for all of south Snohomish County makes sense operationally and financially, and a majority of the voters agree,” said Jim McGaughey, chairman of the Fire District 1 Board of Commissioners.
The Lynnwood Fire Department operates two fire stations with 56 employees to serve more than 36,000 residents within the city limits. Fire District 1 operates 12 fire stations with 241 employees to serve nearly 200,000 residents in unincorporated communities as well as the cities of Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace. These partner cities have service contracts with Fire District 1 that will transfer to SSCFR on October 1 with the same terms, conditions and service levels.