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Fire Departments Discuss Sharing Administration

It appears that four fire agencies are interested in consolidating their administrative duties, but there are still a lot of details to be worked out in order to make that happen. Representatives from Grass Valley Fire, Nevada City Fire, Penn Valley Fire, and Nevada County Consolidated Fire Departments were on hand last night, along with elected officials, rank and file firefighters, and other members of the public for an informational meeting at Sierra College. Three of the four agencies currently have an interim fire chief, which retiring Penn Valley Chief Gene VanderPlaats says makes this a perfect time for having just one chief for all departments…

Listen to Gene VanderPlaats

One chief for all the departments could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary alone, but there are other cost factors. Nevada County Consolidated Board Chair Warren Knox says money is definitely a motivation to make it work…

Listen to Warren Knox

As far as fire services are concerned, the agencies already work under a Joint Operational Agreement, which means the closest resources to a fire are automatically dispatched to the scene, regardless of agency. At last night’s meeting, there was a push to try to make administrative consolidation happen within six months, but many of the department officials say it’s doubtful anything could happen that quickly.

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