Feasibility Study of Public Fire Service Consolidation for the Southwest Council of Governments [open pdf - 119KB]
"Due to the steady increase in population and commercial/industrial development in the Southwest region of Cuyahoga County, the fire service needed to consider regional consolidation as the means to achieve the most efficient operations and the greatest cost effectiveness. The purpose of this paper was to determine the feasibility of consolidating the 18 municipal fire departments belonging to the Cuyahoga County Southwest Council of Governments into one regional department. Among the factors evaluated were the actual financial effects of consolidation, the political ramifications, and the overall benefits to customer service that would be derived from consolidation. I have used descriptive and evaluative research in answering the research questions. Two surveys were sent, one directed to the fire chiefs, and the other to the mayors of the cities in the region. An extensive literature review was performed to explore the various ramifications of consolidation for the cities involved. Interviews were conducted with fire service personnel employed by fire districts that have experienced consolidation. There were three questions this paper attempted to answer: 1. How will fire chiefs and mayors of the municipalities in the Southwest Council of Governments respond to the concept of consolidation? 2. What will the effects of consolidation be on the provision of services to the communities involved? 3. Will any benefits be derived by the fire department personnel as a result of consolidation?"
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/