Littleton, Englewood fire study being finalized

Posted 11/13/12

When it comes to what to do with Littleton's and Englewood's fire departments, opinions range from “hands off our fire station” to “merge …

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Littleton, Englewood fire study being finalized


When it comes to what to do with Littleton's and Englewood's fire departments, opinions range from “hands off our fire station” to “merge police and public works too.”

Representatives of Emergency Services Consulting International held forums in Englewood and Littleton last week to listen to the public before putting the finishing touches on their study. They're looking at possibilities for sharing, consolidating or even merging the two departments.

“The amount of money that's been available in the past is eroded; it's not there,” said Jim Broman, ESCI associate. “And the cost of doing business has not followed the same path.”

Broman and his boss, Martin Goughnour, were careful not to reveal any specific suggestions before presenting the final report to the two city councils, causing frustration for some attendees. But the two used a lot of words like “regionalization,” “cost avoidance,” “efficiencies” and “no longer sustainable” throughout both evenings.

Asked whether jobs would be lost or stations closed, Goughnour said, “At this time, there is nothing in our work that suggests either of those.”

Options on the table are doing nothing, forming a fire authority, linking with an existing authority, forming a new district, both departments annexing into Littleton Fire Protection District, forming an intergovernmental agreement between Littleton and Englewood, and Englewood contracting for services from Littleton. Goughnour said they're all possible but not necessarily feasible.

It's possible some of those would require initial cost outlays or raising taxes for the long term.

“I have a feeling this is a way to create another revenue stream for the city,” said Littleton's Carol Brzeczek, Sunshine Boys activist. “It's a shell game.”

Pete Webb, Littleton resident and noted public-relations entrepreneur, enthusiastically supports consolidation. He worked on the new authority formed by Parker and South Metro Fire Rescue, and he sits on the new entity's board.

“The days of municipal fiefdoms should end,” he said.

Englewood resident and former Dillon Valley Fire Protection District chief Jim Jordan said he sees both positives and negatives to change.

“I think it will be OK as long as you get more people out in the trucks and not in the offices,” he said.

“Our goal is to keep as many people on the street as possible,” said Broman. “There's a very strong emphasis on that.”

This is the third study examining area fire services in recent years. Littleton paid for one and released the results, which offered a large number of suggestions. LFPD paid for its own study after that but has refused to release the results. Goughnour he'd seen both and took them into consideration for this study.

“Everything that we find we will turn over to the councils,” he said, when asked if there would be any secrecy surrounding this study.

littleton, colorado, emergency services consulting international


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