A number of Lincoln County fire departments chiefs have been talking a lot lately about how to reduce their costs while enhancing the level of fire prevention and protection county-wide. Although some folks might think it will lead to fire department consolidations, the various chiefs in the middle of the discussions say “no, far from it.”
During presentations to various city councils and fire protection district boards, all that’s been on the table is a proposed study to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each department. They say the study would help individual departments improve while revealing areas of inter-department cooperation, not only on regular mutual-aid responses but on shared training, equipment and supplies purchases, and volunteer recruitment.
Monday night the Newport City Council joined five other Lincoln County fire departments in funding the study that will assess the departments and recommend methods of enhanced cooperation between the departments of Newport, Depoe Bay, North Lincoln, Siletz, Central Coast (Waldport) and Yachats. Seal Rock and Toledo fire departments declined to participate.
The study is expected to take a number of months.