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Consolidation of Fire Departments Called off for Now

Local Fire agencies have decided that, with budget cuts and future funding uncertain, now is not the time to consolidate their administrative operations under one joint agreement. At their meeting Wednesday night members from Nevada City Fire, Grass Valley Fire and Nevada County Consolidated agreed that the Joint Powers Agreement under consideration should be adopted at some time, but as Grass Valley Fire Chief Tony Clarabut explains it would be difficult to do now.

“Number one, the plan that we developed would have to take a different shape or a different look because of reductions in revenue. Plus the instability left us wondering ‘if we moved into something today, would we have the resources tomorrow to fund it.”

Chief Clarabut says the three fire agencies will revisit the Joint Powers Agreement idea again in November. In the mean time he says the public should not see a difference in the level of fire service.  

“Even though we’ve put this administrative JPA on the shelf for a while, nothing is changing in how we deliver services. The three agencies still have a boundary drop. We provide the closest resources regardless of jurisdiction. We have joint supervision of shifts by each other’s battalion chief. So we’re still acting as one on the ground.”

Chief Clarabut says the JPA agreement between local fire districts has been in the works for two years and fire officials are hoping to adopt it next year or when the district’s financial situation improves. 

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