For the last few weeks what was rumored to be in the works broke out into full fledged meetings between the North Lincoln Fire Department and their neighboring fire district to the south, Depoe Bay Fire Department. Both district fire boards of directors began exchanging ideas as to whether it would be advantageous to combine both departments into one large district. Over the years, both North Lincoln and Depoe Bay Fire Departments have provided back up support for each other during serious accidents, ocean and beach rescues, structure fires and natural disasters. Over time there has been increasing talk that as the area grows in population, consolidating the two departments in to one would likely save certain costs for personnel as well as for expensive firefighting equipment leaving more funds to upgrade firefighter training.
The fire chief of North Lincoln Fire recently announced his retirement thereby triggering an opportunity to consolidate the two fire departments. Instead of having two fire chief’s they’d have one. Other savings might include a deputy chief position, a fire investigator or a code enforcement officer. Such streamlining might trigger a reduction in home and business fire insurance costs depending on upgrades in overall personnel professionalism and faster response times. In short, better emergency response capabilities for less money, thereby easing the burden on taxpayers in Lincoln City and Depoe Bay. At least that appears to be some of the talking points.
The two fire district boards will meet again on February 27th to further explore the feasibility of the consolidation.