Borough mayor seeks consolidation of fire commissions
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A proposal going before Fairbanks North Star Borough officials seeks to consolidate the commissions overseeing emergency medical services and the fire service areas.
Residents of the eastern Alaska borough who do not live in the city limits of Fairbanks or North Pole are served through five fire service areas, each overseen by a separate commission, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Monday.
Borough Mayor Karl Kassel has proposed an ordinance that would eliminate the separate commissions, replacing them with the new Fire and Emergency Medical Services Advisory Commission to oversee all the service areas.
The borough contracts with nonprofit fire departments, which are governed by boards of directors. While the departments serve separate areas, they typically work together under mutual aid agreements.
“Borough fire service and EMS providers, through a series of formal and informal operational arrangements, have evolved into a regional service delivery system,” the ordinance stated.
The separate fire commissions cause difficulties in long-range planning, “making it difficult for the commissions to objectively advise the mayor about issues concerning fire service agreements,” according to the measure.
The members of the new commission would include one resident from each fire service area, one resident each owning residential and commercial property, and two people with backgrounds in public safety planning or administration. The commission would also have an emergency operations director.
The ordinance is scheduled to be introduced to the borough assembly this week with a public meeting planned for next month.
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com