City Government

Boise FD Expands Service Area With Takeover

When Boise Fire Department closed #6 station at Liberty and Fairview 15 or more years ago, they turned around and PAID what is now the North Ada District to provide fire service to that station and the surrounding area along Fairview.
Boise Fire
Now, after years of “fee for service,” the BFD is doing a flip flop and taking over the North Ada service area as well as all the staff, three stations and apparatus for $3.45 million. The contractual agreement won’t be apparent to most folks as the response times will remain the same and personnel will be absorbed into the Boise FD system. North Ada will retain its identity and ownership of the trucks and stations and continue to collect taxes within the district.

The smaller North Ada District will get the benefit of big city fire protection and Boise will expand its empire–hopefully without any additional budget increase. The GUARDIAN attended a presentation by Boise Chief Dennis Doan to the city council. We didn’t see it as all bad or all good. Frankly came away less than convinced of the need for a consolidation.

Fire Departments throughout the nation operate a very workable “mutual aid” system. Over the years those mutual agreements have evolved into rather complex financial operating agreements. This one has been in the works for 14 months and the bottom line as we GROWTHOPHOBES see it will be a foundation for more development and urban sprawl. In fact, Hidden Springs–the planned community along Dry Creek–will now be served by Boise FD.

We must also note that with “emergency response” obligations covering a vast territory within Ada County–all of Boise, Garden City and most suburbs, the argument for a Boise FD ambulance service will undoubtedly crop again in the near future.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Without knowing all the details, consolidation of services is always a good idea as it generally reduces overhead. I think more agencies should be consolidated under the premise of reducing overhead-mostly administrative. Our tax dollars need to be stretched in everyway imaginable.

    The notion that this will lead to more sprawl is just a notion. Who is now responsible for negotiating the new contracts for services into new areas/PC’s?

    EDITOR NOTE–Clancy, I sort of agree. This one will have to be “time will tell.”

  2. Let me think… all these new Fire Fighters will be Boise’s, lots of new Union Members, need to raise the new Fire Fighters pay to current contract pay levels, new contracts coming up, more power for Fire Union to get more raises and benefits.

    That’s not bad, but when was the last time you heard the Fire Union and City Officials argue about pay and benefits? Just a few years ago it was the Police Union but not a peep from the Fire Union, (hint.. Dave became Mayor and not a word from the Fire Union), makes me think, how about you?

  3. Now I like the guys with the North County Fire Department. Truly. But I have some concerns, major concerns as a tax payer.

    As I said before, the bigger issue, is that now there is another revenue stream that BFD now has unsupervised access too for all their pet projects. Dive Teams, More Truck Companies, Ambulances, Monster fire stations (Like the new Station 15, or Station 14, both in the WHITNEY fire district) etc. Does anyone really believe you need a multi million dollar station with 4 bays for 3-4 guys and one fire truck?

    The Garden City Taxpayers have no say because its BOISE FD and the BOISE elected officials.

    Boise Taxpayers have no say in what their FD is doing (kinda Like Team Dave), because BFD will claim its with Garden City monies.

    There was an excellent expose a few years ago (I will have to find it) on the revenue streams and excesses of FIRE DISTRICTS, because no one pays attention to their budgets like they do municipal or county governments. Different commissioners, very low profile.

    The current system was working fine, why mess with it unless someone has something to gain?

  4. found it...
    Dec 3, 2009, 10:06 pm
  5. Why, yes it is. Thank you.

  6. Nemo, how do you know the guys with the North Ada County district? Do you live in that district?

  7. If I was working with Ada County Emergency Medical Services, I don’t think I would be buying my jellybeans by the pound!!!

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