Woodinville Fire & Rescue and Northshore Fire Department Share Resources

Throughout King and Snohomish counties smaller fire agencies are partnering together to provide residents with better service and cost efficiencies. The Northshore Fire Department and Woodinville Fire & Rescue have such a partnership and are considering making it permanent by merging.

Both agencies already share training programs for emergency personnel, administrative positions (fire chief, deputy chief, and a chief administrative officer) and joint departments, including finance, human resources, IT, and payroll. Both agencies are approximately the same size and fund emergency services with a fire levy and fire benefit charge. They also share the same financial philosophy of maintaining a strong reserve fund to pay cash for capital items to save taxpayers money instead of financing these purchases.

A merger would maintain the same number of personnel but allow better deployment to provide an improved emergency response for both communities. Each agency also owns specialized apparatus and equipment that the other benefits from when responding to emergency calls.

In addition, merging has the added benefits of providing better training opportunities for firefighters, stronger fire prevention programs in local schools, more community engagement, and economies of scale in purchasing goods and services. There is likely to be a cost savings for taxpayers in both communities, and that information will be shared when data from the county is available later this fall.

Because the Northshore Fire Department would merge into Woodinville Fire & Rescue, Northshore voters are the ones who would vote on this ballot measure during an election sometime in 2021. Woodinville Fire & Rescue will continue to update you as these talks progress.