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Regular Session 07-20-16

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Wheat Ridge Fire and West Metro Fire Rescue Merger Information

Wheat Ridge Fire and West Metro Fire Rescue are merging.


What is the time frame for this merger?

  • The merger will be operational in April 2016, with an intergovernmental agreement between both fire agencies. On October 4th, 2016 citizens of the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District will vote on inclusion into the West Metro Fire Protection District.

Will taxes increase for Wheat Ridge or Edgewater Residents?

  • There will be a slight decrease in taxes for the citizens of Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District going from a mil levy of 12.5 to 12.382.

Will the name of either fire department change?

  • The merged fire districts will operate under the name “West Metro Fire Protection District”, also known as West Metro Fire Rescue.

Are any Wheat Ridge fire stations closing?

  • Wheat Ridge Fire Station #71 (3800 Upham Street) will remain open with a firefighter/paramedic staffed fire engine, a firefighter/paramedic staffed ambulance and a chief officer. This station will be called West Metro Fire Station #16.
  • Wheat Ridge Fire Station #72 (10908 West 38th) will remain open with a firefighter/paramedic staffed fire engine. This station will be called West Metro Fire Station #17.
  • The Edgewater Fire Station at 2508 Gray Street will remain closed. Edgewater will be served by West Metro Fire Rescue Stations 1 and 16 with overlapping 4.5 minute response times.

What will happen when I call 911 to report a fire or medical emergency?

  • West Metro Fire Rescue has been dispatching for Wheat Ridge Fire for several years, so there will be no change in the way 911 calls are answered.
  • West Metro Fire Rescue’s fire and emergency apparatus staffed with firefighter/paramedics will respond to calls in Wheat Ridge and Edgewater.
  • West Metro Fire Rescue’s transport ambulances, also called Medic Units, will respond to medical emergency calls in Wheat Ridge and Edgewater.

Will there be a decrease in the emergency services received by Wheat Ridge & Edgewater residents?

  • No. This merger results in increased benefits for the citizens of Wheat Ridge and Edgewater in the areas of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Depth of Service and Costs.
  • West Metro Fire Protection District is a full service fire agency that has been providing fire-based EMS and transport for over 40 years. Providing cross-training for fire-based EMS is a great value to the citizens because the firefighter/paramedics on every apparatus can respond to fires, heart attacks, motor vehicle crashes and the multitude of calls for injury and illness.
  • In the past, Wheat Ridge Fire did not provide advance life support because of the costs for equipment, staffing, and training. West Metro Fire Rescue will now provide advanced life support and transport services to the citizens of Wheat Ridge and Edgewater.
  • Historically, the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District responded to fires with three fire apparatus and 11-12 firefighters. As part of the West Metro Fire Protection District the citizens of Wheat Ridge and Edgewater will experience the benefits of a seven apparatus response along with two chief officers, a safety officer, and a fire investigator totaling at least 25 firefighters. Incident commanders will have access to the entire fleet of West Metro apparatus and personnel.
  • West Metro Fire Rescue’s Life Safety programs and services are now available to Wheat Ridge and Edgewater residents. These include individual services (car seat check appointments, low cost child restraints, low cost smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, juvenile firesetter assessments and interventions), safety presentations for schools, businesses and agencies serving seniors and people with disabilities, and neighborhood based safety programs and events.
  • The merger allows residents to receive additional services at a slightly reduced cost. The merger creates excellent opportunities for Wheat Ridge Firefighters that they would not have had otherwise.
  • West Metro Fire Rescue is one of only 217 internationally accredited fire agencies. The accreditation process leads to improved service delivery, based on industry best practices. These standards will apply to the entire district, including Wheat Ridge and Edgewater.

Will any Wheat Ridge or West Metro Firefighters lose their jobs because of the merger?

  • No.
  • Wheat Ridge Firefighters will now have the opportunities to attend Paramedic school and pursue certifications to serve on special teams (Technical Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Hazardous Materials, EMS Special Events, Wildland Firefighting, Colorado Task Force 1)

Will Wheat Ridge Firefighters remain in Wheat Ridge Fire Stations?

  • Wheat Ridge Firefighters will be integrated throughout the West Metro Fire Protection District to meet the organizational needs of the entire district.

Who approved this merger?

  • Both the West Metro Fire Protection District and the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection board of directors gave consensus to move forward with the merger process after a Cooperative Services Feasibility Study was conducted by Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI). ESCI recommended that the two fire districts combine via a merger. Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the inclusion October 4th, 2016.

Will an elected Board of Directors still oversee the merged departments?

  • Yes.
  • There will be seven elected board members to serve the entire district.
  • Directors are elected at large but must live in the district he or she is elected to represent.
  • West Metro’s Board of Directors meets once a month to oversee the district budget and make policy decisions, ensuring that the district’s resources are wisely allocated.
  • The seven member board is elected by district voters and the meetings are open to the public.

How can I find out more information regarding this merger?

  • You can find information and a list of scheduled community meetings at www.westmetrofire.org
  • You can call (303) 989-4307 during business hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

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Comments (0) May 04 2016

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