Consolidation, shared services and recruitment are issues that fire departments across the country are facing, and Lysander fire district officials are taking matters into their own hands.
Members of the Shared Services sub-committee, part of the larger Lysander Public Safety Committee, have decided to conduct a study of services provided by the seven entities currently providing fire protection to the Town of Lysander. Those entities include: Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Company, which contracts with the town to serve the Smokey Hollow Fire Protection District; Belgium Cold Springs Fire District; Cody Fire District; Enterprise Fire Company (Phoenix), which contracts with the town to serve the West Phoenix Fire Protection District; Lysander Fire District; Plainville Fire District; and Seneca River Fire District.
According to Shared Services sub-committee member Bill Merriam, who is also a fire commissioner for and member of the Belgium Cold-Springs Fire District, now is the time to bring in an independent, "fresh pair of eyes" to see if more could be done with current resources.
"Everyone involved, from the commissioners and chiefs at the top on down to the newest recruit realize there are challenges in the fire service in the Town of Lysander," he said. "We all are trying to be proactive, responsible and accountable and believe that completing this study will provide a tool to show our strengths and weaknesses and help in delivering better service to the residents we serve."
According to Merriam, the external look into operations by a recognized and experienced consultant will benefit residents in the following ways:
provide recommendations to improve delivery of service to town residents and possibly uncover some cost saving opportunities (joint purchasing, equipment standardization);
provide a realistic appraisal of facilities and equipment including locations, conditions, serviceability and life expectancy of assets and advise on maintenance and replacement programs;
compare similar sized communities to see how Lysander districts "measure up;"