The Russian River Fire Protection District (RRFPD) Board of Directors is engaging in conversation with Sonoma County Fire District Fire Chief Mark Heine and his Board of Directors to explore the possibility of joining the Sonoma County Fire District (SCFD).
The Sonoma County Fire District emerged from a successful consolidation of the Windsor Fire District, Rincon Valley Fire District, Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, and the Bennett Valley Fire District. This growing, successful organization has increased services to the communities that it serves and increased firefighter staffing in those stations. Moreover, SCFD has created a financially sustainable future for emergency services in these communities at a time when small districts across the county, including RRFPD, face increasingly dire financial futures.
The potential benefits to the taxpayers of the Russian River Fire Protection District include gaining the executive and administrative leadership currently employed by the Sonoma County Fire District. RRFPD currently does not have its own Fire Chief or administrative staff. To hire our own Chief and comparable administrative staff would cost a considerable amount of money that we do not have. While a steep parcel tax increase might increase revenue, we are seeking to maintain or improve service quality without adding significant burden to our resident taxpayers.
One of the biggest potential benefits of annexation by the Sonoma County Fire District would be the addition of three Firefighter/Paramedic positions to the Guerneville fire station. We currently only have Paramedics on our ambulance. For approximately eight hours on an average day, RRFPD's ambulance is committed to transporting someone to a Santa Rosa area hospital. During this time, there are no Paramedics in our fire district to respond to the next medical emergency. The three additional Firefighter/Paramedic positions would significantly enhance the service that we can provide to our residents by ensuring the availability of a Firefighter/Paramedic on both our fire engine and our ambulance.
Beyond this specific example, we expect that a variety of efficiencies and improvements to service would result-better purchasing power, reduced overhead costs, improved growth opportunities for staff, and better interconnected cooperation with neighboring districts.
We encourage our residents to attend our monthly Board of Directors meetings to learn more firsthand about the possibilities of consolidation with the Sonoma County Fire District. We will be discussing this opportunity in detail at our July and August meetings.
Jason Weaver, President
Russian River Fire Protection District Board of Directors
(redacted)6.12.19 RRFPD Board Mtg.Final.pdf