North county fire agencies explore combining efforts

ARLINGTON — The city of Arlington played host to representatives from 14 Snohomish County fire departments who gathered Thursday to learn more about how fire service agencies in north county might combine their efforts.

Don Bivins, a retired fire chief from Clark County, spoke to the group about the advantages and disadvantages of regional fire authorities, mergers, annexations and consolidations of fire districts.

Bivins was invited to speak because fire departments in the region have a growing number of people to serve, but are facing declining revenues, Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert said.

Bivins agreed.

“The public is saying, ‘We love you firefighters, but there is a limit to how much we are willing to pay for your services.’ That’s what is driving the look at the regionalization of fire service,” he said.

Bivins works for Portland-based Emergency Services Consulting International, a firm that has given its help to numerous fire-fighting organizations nationwide.

Regional fire authorities are relatively new in the state and take a lot of work to organize, Bivins said.

Cost savings are possible, but cooperation is the key to success of a combined effort, he said.

Learn more

More information about the presentation is available from Arlington Fire Chief Bruce Stedman by email at bstedman@arlingtonwa.gov.

More in Local News

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Most Read