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NC Fire discusses partnership for more coverage

At its regular board meeting on October 27, the North County Fire Protection District (NCFPD) board of directors heard a proposal from Chief Bill Metcalf to consider the possibility of partnering with other fire agencies to increase area fire coverage.

“In the past, the board has discussed consolidating,” said Metcalf. “The board has a history of always being supportive of Local Agency Formation Commission [LAFCO] efforts to consolidate fire agencies. This is just an update to inform current board members what is going on.”

In the interest of improving efficiency and effectiveness of fire and emergency response services, there has been much activity focused on the issue of consolidating fire agencies, said Metcalf.

“Everyone is looking for more ways to be efficient,” said Metcalf. “The board has always supported anything that allows us to provide a high level of service in a more efficient and effective manner.”

If the NCFPD board decides to consider consolidation at a further date, the members would have to consider either outright consolidation or “functional” consolidation.

“The word ‘consolidation’ usually brings fear because it typically refers to entire departments being dissolved and one department taking its place,” explained Metcalf. “The NCFPD would decide between outright consolidation or we could streamline certain portions of the departments.”

If the board of directors chooses to consolidate, the agency would look at neighboring fire districts to consolidate with.

“It makes more sense to work with agencies that are close by,” explained Metcalf. “For instance, there would be a potential possibility of us consolidating with Oceanside, Vista, Deer Springs or Valley Center fire districts, since they are closer.”


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