October 12, 2005
For months, officials from the Albemarle County Fire and Rescue and Charlottesville City Fire and Rescue have talked about consolidating resources. Today, that plan came one step closer to a realization.
Local fire officials are looking for ways to respond to fires and EMS calls quicker. Today, they announced a committee that will work hand-in-hand with a consulting firm, examining the possibility of joining forces.
"If we're all one organization as opposed to two, there is always the potential that you could have a much smoother streamlined operation," said Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner.
The consultant will objectively examine both fire and rescue, trying to find a consolidated system that will be more cost effective and more efficient.
"The purpose of this really is to have a comprehensive study of the possibilities of a partial or full consolidation," said Albemarle County Fire Chief Dan Eggelston.
Over time, the Charlottesville area has grown, demanding more services from both fire and rescue. Officials are looking this independent assessment to help find ways of meeting this growing demand.
"We're look to see how we can best serve our community and I think that's what the study will give us some ideas on how we can actually do that," Werner said.
The evaluation is expected to take several months to complete. Once completed, both Chief Werner and Chief Eggelston will review the findings and make recommendations to their governing bodies.
"We're going to look and see what the recommendations are, and we'll take that all back to our financial bodies and to our elected officials and they'll have to evaluate all of that," Werner said.
At this point, fire officials are not putting any timelines with regards to significant changes.
Fire officials say that if there are any consolidation measures taken, no current fire personnel would lose their job.
If you would like to keep up-to-date with the most recent findings, visit avenue.org/firestudy for the most recent information.