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5 Cities Develop Joint Fire Command In Rock Hill

Rock Hill, Clayton, Maplewood, Brentwood & Richmond Heights to work toward better efficiency

August 19, 2016
In an effort to streamline emergency services, the Rock Hill Board of Aldermen on Aug. 2 entered into an agreement with Clayton, Maplewood, Brentwood and Richmond Heights to develop a joint fire command.

Rock Hill City Administrator Jennifer Yackley said the way things stand now in the city, "everyone is wearing multiple hats.

"Our fire chief, Kevin Halloran, oversees training, logistics and operations all those things that, in a larger fire department, you would have someone specifically focusing on," she said.

Clayton and Maplewood approached Emergency Services Consulting International in 2011 to conduct a study to determine whether consolidation would work. They then brought in Brentwood, Rock Hill and Glendale for a second study.

Glendale dropped out, and Richmond Heights joined the cities which then conducted a third study. The study determined that a joint fire command would provide efficiencies within the fire departments.

"We would have someone making sure everyone's training is up to date, having someone work on logistics, and someone making sure that the equipment and trucks are maintained properly," Yackley said. "These things are now part of someone else's job, and it takes away from their primary job."

All cities would keep their own firehouses and trucks, with management becoming more efficient, according to Yackley.

Clayton and Richmond Heights have already joined the agreement. Brentwood and Maplewood have yet to introduce the measure.

The next step is for officials from each of the cities to sit down together and work out a framework. Yackley said the process could take from 18 to 24 months.

Contract For New City Facility

The board of aldermen signed a contract with ArchImages for architectural drawings of the new city facility. Renderings are expected in December.

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