Consolidation of Fire Services Discussed in Clayton County, GA

April 10, 2024
Riverdale officials are considering asking Clayton County to assume their fire department.

Officials in two jurisdictions are discussing consolidating their fire services.

Some Riverdale residents are upset as officials consider having Clayton County take over the fire department. 

“It was important to let them know we weren’t moving into Riverdale, trying to initiate a takeover of the fire department. We basically [were] approached by the city of Riverdale,” said Clayton County Commissioner Jeff Turner told ANF.

Riverdale residents are worried its firefighters will be out of a job if the city closes the department. Elected officials from both entities have said that's not in the works. 

“It is my understanding through the city that if an agreement is reached that, once again, we will impose the fire tax in the city. But also the city will adjust their taxes to ensure the actual citizens do not see a tax increase for the provision of services,” said Clayton County Fire Chief Tim Sweat.

People in Riverdale have also been worried about if the change would impact response times.

“We currently provide the EMS response to the city and have been since day one,” said Sweat. “Right now, our response times are within eight, eight and a half minutes.”

Seat and others say firing or laying off current Riverdale firefighters aren't in the plans.

“We have an excellent fire department. We have the resources, and we would not be putting their firefighters out of business. We simply would merge those that are hirable into our fire department,” Turner explained.

Additional public hearings in the county and Riverdale are planned. 

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Content curated and written by Firehouse editorial staff, including Susan Nicol, Steven Shaw, Peter Matthews, Ryan Baker and Rich Dzierwa.