Consolidation Between City and County to Enhance Fire and First Responder Services
Fire District Interlocal Agreement to Impact Southern Durham
DURHAM, N.C. – The Durham Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met on Monday, June 25 in Regular Session and approved the consolidation of the Durham County Fire Rescue (DCFR) Department with the City of Durham Fire Department (DFD). The City Council voted to approve the fire merger during their regular session on Monday, June 18. The agreement enables the consolidation of fire, rescue, and first responder services in the southern part of Durham serving the growing Research Triangle Park (RTP).
The merger will provide the same or higher level of fire, rescue, and first responder services, and maintain or improve on Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings in an effort to achieve the lowest insurance rates for residents and businesses in the DCFR Fire Service District which includes RTP. Lower ISO ratings will likely result in decreased insurance premiums for some residences and businesses in the District. In addition, response times to fire, rescue, and medical emergencies are anticipated to decrease, fire protection in southern Durham will efficiently function under one operational plan, and capital expenditures for fire stations and apparatus will decrease due to combined planning efforts by both organizations.
“This consolidation of Fire services will make for more efficient service delivery within southern Durham and prove beneficial to our residents,” said County Manager Wendell M. Davis.
The consolidation of services impacts 53 DCFR positions that will transfer to DFD effective July 1, 2018. First-line, reserve, and training apparatus will be transferred to the DFD, and two existing DCFR stations will be leased to the City of Durham until DFD Station #18 and DFD Station #19 are constructed. A two-cent tax increase was approved by the Board of County Commissioners for the DCFR Fire Service District in the FY18-19 budget to cover initial operational costs associated with the merger.
For more information about the City-County Fire Consolidation and inter local agreement, visit https://durhamcounty.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3535645&GUID=48EACE36-152D-4504-9C52-EABD90EFE715.