The City of Eureka has reached an agreement for the joint sharing of a Fire Chief through a contractual partnership with Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District. The agreement will be presented to the Eureka City Council and Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District Board at their respective meetings Tuesday August 16, 2011. If approved, the contract will begin September 1, 2011, and Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District Chief Ken Woods will assume the roll of Fire Chief for both organizations.
The decision to pursue a contractual fire chief came out of discussion of the Joint Fire Services Committee. The Joint Fire Services Committee is made up of representatives of the Eureka City Council and the Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District Board of Directors, Eureka City Manager, and Humboldt No. 1 Fire Chief. The committee met recently to discuss the mutual goal of full consolidation of the two fire departments. Sharing the District’s Fire Chief is the first step in assessing the viability of a full or partial consolidation of the two agencies. With the current Fire Chief position at Eureka Fire Department vacant and filled with an interim assignment, utilizing contractual Fire Chief services provides leadership in this critical role without increasing the overall number of administrative management positions while full consolidation discussion continues. By contract, both agencies would pay 50% of the overall salary package of the Fire Chief position.
As a result of the pending contractual Fire Chief services, the current City of Eureka recruitment and selection process for a Fire Chief has been placed on hold indefinitely.
For several decades the City of Eureka and Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District have discussed the idea of "full" consolidation of fire and medical response services. In a "full" consolidation, the two fire agencies would combine completely to create a single fire department.
Through their joint efforts the two agencies have been able to accomplish several steps towards a "functional" consolidation, including our auto-aid agreement and more recently the sharing of a fire training officer. Under auto-aid, both departments rely on each other to provide adequate emergency resources for incidents in the greater Eureka area where the closest fire resources respond regardless of jurisdiction.