The Boards of Directors for SMFR and Parker Fire met March 18 to discuss the potential consolidation of both departments.
(photo by Terri Wiebold)
Parker Fire Chief Dan Qualman, who is acting chief for SMFR (left), and SMFR Assistant Chief Mike Dell’Orfano may soon be working together under one unified department if the two agencies merge. (photo by Terri Wiebold)
by Terri Wiebold
On March 18, 2008, Emergency Service Consultants Incorporated (ESCi) presented the findings of a six-month Consolidation Feasibility Study on the potential consolidation of South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) and the Parker Fire Protection District (PFD) at a joint meeting held by both departments.
The goal of the study was to examine each fire district’s policies, philosophical practices, management, operations, and cultures to determine if partnership opportunities - including a full consolidation - exist for the two agencies.
“The implications drawn from the findings and recommendations indicate that a full consolidation of SMFR and PFD is operationally and financially feasible,” summarized the report. “Moreover, the financial models indicate that the fiscal outlook for each department is much stronger under a consolidated model than if they continue to operate independently.”
The most optimistic estimates in the report projected an overall savings over a ten-year period to be between $25 million and $60 million.
What does this mean for Castle Pines North (CPN)?
According to the study, there are currently areas within the CPN community where SMFR emergency fire and medical response times are not being reached within the four-minute guideline for urban areas. This is consistent with the information SMFR presented to the CPN community several years ago when they approached residents about voting for an increase in the mill levy and building a new fire station in CPN.
Early analysis suggested that the proposed new station 43 (at the northeast corner of Monarch Boulevard and Hidden Pointe Boulevard) could provide the coverage needed for this area. However, more recent analysis indicates that with the addition of PFD’s proposed Canyons fire station (just east of I-25 near Castle Pines Parkway) and the likely relocation of Station 36 to the west (at the intersection of Monarch Boulevard and Castle Pines Parkway), SMFR would achieve adequate coverage for all affected areas, including all of Castle Pines North and the I-25 corridor.
What is the Next Step?
SMFR has scheduled two community meetings on April 3 to review ESCi’s Study, at 5:30 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m., at 9195 E. Mineral Avenue in Centennial. Two additional meetings will be held on April 9 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at 10235 Parkglenn Way in Parker. CPN residents are encouraged to attend one of these four meetings.
Based on the results of the study and input from the community meetings, both Boards will decide whether or not to consolidate. Both departments will hold a joint meeting in Parker on April 24 at 6 p.m., where it is anticipated the Boards will vote on the consolidation.
Information pertaining to the community meetings as well as a complete copy of ESCi’s Consolidation Feasibility Study can be found at www.southmetro.org.