Washoe County Commissioners Discuss Future of Fire Services - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Washoe County Commissioners Discuss Future of Fire Services

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The Washoe County Commission discussed the future of fire services in Northern Nevada Tuesday with the release of a new report.

On Tuesday, commissioners approved a report put together by the Blue Ribbon Committee that outlines the biggest issues and some solutions moving forward. "I think the most profound thing that came out of this report is that we need to take incremental steps, not expect this to be solved overnight, but small steps of progress will eventually get us to where there could be a regional fire department for the valley," says Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore.

Moore says the biggest issue outlined in the report is the lack of automatic aid agreements between the various fire services in the region. Under  an automatic aid system, whichever department has the closest crews would respond to a fire regardless of jurisdiction. Right now, the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District has automatic aid agreements with several agencies in the area but not with some of the biggest ones, namely the Reno Fire Department. But there are major roadblocks in the way of universal automatic aid like figuring out funding, taxation and labor laws. "The consultant said very forcefully in the report 'the barriers are turf, power, and politics.' And that's a fact," says commission chair David Humke.

The plan moving forward is to take the Blue Ribbon Report to the other fire services in the region to see if they can come to an agreement.

Also, at the meeting, commissioners approved Truckee Meadows' request for additional trucks and personnel in the upcoming budget. They also approved ongoing agreements with several rural fire departments in the region.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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