For Immediate Release
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ARVADA, Colo. — Following a joint study session and comprehensive emergency response analysis, the Fairmount Fire Protection District and Arvada Fire Protection District have entered an administrative Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with unanimous approval from both districts' board of directors.
A series of administrative vacancies and the planned retirement of Fairmount Fire Chief Alan Fletcher prompted discussions of continued collaboration between the two districts and the eventual signing of an IGA. Effective May 12, Arvada Fire Chief Mike Piper will serve as Fairmount’s interim fire chief while Arvada Fire will also provide operational and administrative services to Fairmount Fire.
This agreement will allow discussions to continue with the intent of consolidating the two agencies, which will bring increased service benefits to both communities, by January 2025. The final decision will require public input and an election of the Fairmount Fire voters.
“This is a rare opportunity that benefits the community, the organizations, and its members,” said Fairmount Fire Chief Alan Fletcher. “It will improve emergency services to our communities, reduce duplication, and provide a larger workforce to address current and future demands.”
Arvada Fire and Fairmount Fire are adjacent special districts that provide all-hazards emergency response and community risk reduction services in an area between Denver and Golden, Colorado. Arvada Fire is a career agency with 208 employees and Fairmount is a combination agency with 30 employees and 22 volunteers. Both agencies are internationally accredited with a Class 1 classification from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), a designation only eight agencies in Colorado possess.
An analysis of emergency response times in an integrated district demonstrates that a consolidation would result in improved services to the communities and significant reductions in response times to emergencies in Fairmount.
Both agencies also solicited members to form representative workgroups to identify issues, opportunities, and recommendations associated with an increased service partnership. Their findings indicated integration would improve the financial stability of both agencies, resulting in organizational sustainability, depth in staffing and capital resources, and economies of scale that could improve efficiencies.
Collaboration between the districts is not a new concept, as the districts utilize the same 911 communications center, share automatic and mutual aid agreements, jointly conduct and participate in training, and collaborate to repair and maintain fire apparatus.
“The diligent efforts and forward-thinking mindset of both districts has paved the way for a stronger, more integrated fire and EMS service that will enhance our collective ability to protect and serve,” said Jim Whitfield, president of the Arvada Fire Board of Directors. “We’re excited about this strategic process and the significant benefits this will bring to the citizens we serve.”
Fairmount Fire Board of Directors President Robert Wilson added: “I believe the collaboration between Fairmount Fire and Arvada Fire will provide the citizens of both communities better service with the added benefit of cost sharing. This is a great opportunity to work together with a neighbor that shares such a large border with us. We hope the entire community will share in our enthusiasm for this new agreement!”
Alan Fletcher is retiring with 45 years of experience in the fire service, including the last 10 as fire chief to Fairmount Fire. Mike Piper has more than 30 years of experience at Arvada Fire and has served as fire chief since 2020. Prior to joining Arvada Fire, Chief Piper served as a firefighter at Fairmount Fire.
About Arvada Fire
Arvada Fire maintains nine active fire stations throughout approximately 43 square miles in the City of Arvada, the northern portion of the City of Wheat Ridge, and portions of unincorporated Jefferson County. Arvada Fire is an all-hazards fire department with more than 200 employees serving approximately 133,000 citizens with dedication, integrity, compassion, courage, and respect.
About Fairmount Fire
The community of Fairmount has a total population of 25,000 and is nestled in between the towns of Golden, Arvada, and Wheat Ridge on Colorado’s Front Range. The Fairmount Fire Protection District is a combination department currently employing 30 career firefighters and staff and 20 volunteer firefighters who graciously dedicate their time and efforts to the community. Fairmount Fire maintains three fire stations.