The Wisconsin Policy Forum presented the results of its fire study which started in the spring of 2018 in front of the Boards of Bristol, Paris and the Village of Somers.
The study, which looked at the fire service of the Town and Village of Somers, the village of Bristol and the Town of Paris was done to assess the increased needs of the communities due to industrial and residential growth.
It is expected that Somers will experience the higher amount of development of all three communities.
Current staffing at the Somers Fire Dept. include nine career firefighters as well as part-time firefighters.
In contrast, Bristol and Paris do not have career firefighters. Bristol contracts one firefighter through Metro ambulance and employs 15 part-time firefighters. Paris employees three part-time firefighters.
One of the challenges to fire department is to retain qualified and knowledgeable staff. The report suggest that the quality of services increases by moving to a career model as opposed to paid on call.
Combined, all municipalities spend about $2.4 million on the services, with Somers accounting for about $1.4 million of that total. Bristol spends about $740,000 while Paris accounts for the rest at about $282,000.
The study looked at eight options from short-term to long term, looking for ways to provide the best service to residents in the most cost-effective way.
Some of the options include having all departments consolidate into one department. Different staffing options are explored.
Others options have the departments contract different services from each other.
Yet another has Somers adding another station west of Station 1.
The report details how these different options affect the cost of providing fire and EMS services and the level of these services to the residents.