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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions February 6, 2016

2/2/2013 1:07:00 PM
Editorial: Sharing fire agency services sounds good, but will it happen?

You can’t say they don’t have anything to chew on.

No stone was left unturned during the shared services presentation to Sedona-Verde Valley fire agencies this past week. It was an excellent presentation by consultants Jack Snook and John Flynn and hats off to Verde Valley Fire Chief Nazih Hazime for bringing these experts to the Verde Valley and for organizing the forum.

It bears emphasis, and it did not go unnoticed by the consultants, that our local fire agencies already have an Automatic Mutual Aid system in place. The efficiency of that system in an emergency is a direct result of the cooperative training our local agencies already utilize.

It is because of that foundation that it’s only fair to ask why the agencies cannot take such cooperation a step further. Everyone seems to agree that cooperative agreements can provide for economies of scale, elimination of duplication, increased services, reduction of risk, and increased political clout.

But as we have seen over the years with the various efforts to share services or consolidate/unify our school systems, it’s easier said than done. Change does not always come easy in the Verde Valley.

As consultant Jack Snook warned this past week, actually sharing and merging services and personnel among fire agencies involves traversing the stormy waters of “turf, power, control, politics, money and timing.”

Stay tuned.

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