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Town of Manlius Fire Study Implementation Advisory Committee makes recommendation

Beginning some four years ago the town of Manlius, its villages, fire district and the town of Pompey began a process to evaluate the status of our emergency services. Fire and EMS coverage are provided by organizations operated by the village of Fayetteville, village of Manlius, village of Minoa and a fire district in Kirkville.

Last year a formal consulting study was presented to these organizations that outlined a number of possible improvements within and between the departments providing fire and EMS services. The Implementation Advisory Committee, formed in the summer of 2011, has since been studying the report, meeting with the departments and interested parties.

The executive committee for the town of Manlius fire study, consisting of town supervisors Ed Theobald and Carole Marsh and village mayors Dick Donovan, Mark Olson and Mark-Paul Serafin along with Kirkville Fire Commissioner Duane Groesbeck, have been presented with a summary and final report from the Implementation Advisory Committee and its findings.

The Implementation Advisory Committee’s objective was to find the path that enabled the fire and EMS agencies to cut or contain future costs while meeting expected service, safety, training performance and other state and federal mandates. The IAC investigation examined whether or not a joint fire district, as proposed by the formal consultant’s report, is the best means to obtain this outcome.

The IAC deliberations were extensive and thorough. It considered a number of different alternatives, including the joint fire district recommendation. The IAC has concluded that an “operational consolidation” is currently the wisest course of action. An operational consolidation asks that the entities providing service work together in the areas of purchasing, capital planning, training and response operations. This approach, simple to initiate but difficult to coordinate, begins the process of working together to provide more efficient services and cooperative activities. In addition, this approach does not preclude any of the other alternatives from being considered in the future.

The executive committee has accepted the IAC’s recommendation. The department chiefs have already begun working on joint plans in each area outlined by the committee. The chiefs will be reporting to the executive group on a regular basis. As areas of meaningful cooperation are identified the executive committee will work in conjunction with the chiefs to implement those initiatives.

Manlius Town Supervisor Ed Theobald can be reached at etheobald@townofmanlius.org.

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