1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Neighboring Dept. may fold up

    Our neighboring department may fold. Almost all of there members have retired or quit due to the actions of their administration. They run about 10 calls a year, No EMS and have only about 6 members left.

    We have on our department, members who were members of both departments and quit the other, and remain with us.

    My question, If that department folds, and we start to service that area, should we invite those remaining members of that department to join us? Should we add that Twp. as part of our district or take on their area under a contract? Or run away from all of this as fast as we can?

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    We have been though this .... sorta ..... twice in the past 3 years.

    3 years ago we were asked by the local government to assume fire protection responsibilities for a combination National Guard/Private industry facility which laid primarily in a neighboring parish (county).

    The facility was a former federal Army Ammo Plant that made muntions from the 40's through the late 80's. In the early 80s it was transferred to the state Department of the Military. It is currently home to several LA National Guard admin, training and maintainence units, and is currently being built up to serve as a regional National Guard training facility for LA, AR, MA, AL and parts of TX. The expectation is that 30,000 guardsman will pass through every year after full build out in 2015.

    There are also several private tenants which include a black powder manufacturer, a explosive primer manufactuer, a white phop flare manufacturer and a company that removes the explosives from bombs.

    Through the 80's and early 00's the base had no on-facility protection and paid another department in the neighboring parish to respond. In 2004, they formed a volunteer department that responded with the paid department. In 2007, the base decided to shutdown the small volunteer department, composed primarily of NG personnel. They first went to the small all- vollie department in the neighboring parish who borded the facility, and they said no. They then came to us and we said no. They then went back to the other department, and they said no, again. At this point they came back to us with some political might and basically "convinced" us that it would be in our long term best interests to take it.

    We attempted to retain the previous volunteers but they had no interest in staying on due primarily to the way the transfer was handled by the military, and not liking the way we have cleaned up department operations. Up until this year, when we finally recieved 50K to operate the department, getting needed equipment and tools was a beaucratic nightmere. We still are not compensated for the paid staff's or volunteer staff's time spent out there either at fires or pre-plans, truck maintainence, hydrant testing or any other related task. We are doing it as a good faith gesture to the police jury, but it is costing the residents of our fire district money.

    We have told them that in the near future, given the expected growth of the NG training facility, they will either have to supplement our 50K with enough funds to put at a minimum, daytime staff at that station as our current paid staff will not be able to handle the increased load w/out hurting the response to our district, or they will assume the full reponsibility for operating fire protection.

    The second case happened about 2 years ago when we assumed the operations of a very small neighboring fire district. The request was made by the district themselves as they only had a couple of members and realized that they need to be absorbed. In that case, the transfer has been quite peaceful and the transistion has been fairly seemless.

  3. #3
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    Tim1118's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    United States


    Agreements definitely need to be in place as to the who/what/when/where details, so everyone know what is expected. As far as the six remaining members, I think it would be a good idea to invite them to apply with your department... but they should be interviewed and judged just like every other applicant. There are always multiple sides to every story, so it would be good to know what exactly you're getting into, both with the area that you may be protecting, and the people with whom you'll be dealing.

    In a nutshell, get all of the information you can, and then try to make the best informed decision.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Fire Protection Arrangement

    Here are several considerations, that you may want to consider, before you commit to absorbing the adjoining FD's response area:

    1. Would this annexation affect your ISO rating that you have for your current response area?

    2. Does your FD have adequate apparatus, equipment and personnel to respond to the absorbed response area?

    3. How much money would it cost to provide service to the absorbed response area? Would you be able to recover that expense from a contract or other payment(s) for services?

    4. Would you be legally bound to accept any liabilities (debt, Fire Act Grant commitments, etc.) of the former FD?

    5. Could you obtain the current firefighting apparatus and equipment of the disbanding FD to supplement your existing firefighting arsenal? (If you are going to add more firefighters to your membership, the current bunker gear from the disbanding FD may be needed for those new members of your department.)

    6. Would your governing board (city council, fire district board, etc.) be favorable in absorbing the newly proposed response area? Would the governing board (city, township, etc.) of the newly proposed response area be favorable in securing a fire protection arrangement with your FD?

    7. Is there any special/target hazards, that are located in the absorbed response area, that you will be providing fire protection for? Examples are school(s), high rise occupancies, chemical plants or other hazardous materials sites, interstate highway(s), military facilities and other hazardous locations that may result in your FD purchasing special equipment for (hazmat, ladder truck, etc.)?

    8. What type(s) of water supply are available for this area? Will you have to add tanker(s), do you have the correct threads for using any fire hydrants?

    9. Is this proposed response area serviced by your current 911 dispatch center? If not, you will have to make arrangements with the 911 dispatch that services it and possibly add more radio channels to communicate with them.

    It is best to do your homework before taking responsibility for providing fire protection to this proposed response area. If you do and need a contract, your FD attorney will need to draw one up, to conform to your state statutes.

  5. #5
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    ziggy171's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Central Illinois


    We are in the same situation. A small dept near us has about 6 guys on their dept. They get luck to respond to calls with an engine and 2 guys. (Not to be mean but none of them are quality firefighters). They have asked if we would be the primary response agency for their area and be "helped" by them. That kind of worked. We responded and they still didn't. (we were reimbursed) Now they just want us to take over everything and them do away with their dept.

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