MEDFORD, Ore. — Two fire departments, two service areas and one possibility of merging the two.
“When you call 9-1-1, what you care about is that someone responds quickly, who is well equipped, well trained and able to take care of your problem,” said Vice President of the board for Fire District 3, Colin Fagan.
Fire District 3 cover areas in Central Point, White City, Gold Hill and Eagle Point. Fagan said right now the department is in good financial standing, but rising costs over the next few years could change that.
“Either A, having to ask for more money. Or B, reducing our level of service. We don’t want to do either of those things,” said Fagan.
The possibility of joining forces with the Medford Fire Department is now gaining momentum. A detailed report was presented to Medford city council and other involved parties.
“The report laid out several steps, the end step is the most difficult because it would be a full consolidation. We’re not there yet. Right now, we’re just talking about operationally, what are some things we can do to provide better service,” said City Council President Daniel Bunn.
According to notes from the report’s presentation, the study included recommendations that were feasible and will provide efficiencies. Bunn said combining two long standing agencies isn’t easy, but the benefits are worth exploring.
“We can save costs. It’s going to be difficult to get there but it’s worth doing. A lot of what we do here in local government is provide public safety and if we can do that better, that’s worth spending the time on,” said Bunn.