Autumn brings spectacular color across the Truckee Meadows
Autumn brings spectacular color across the Truckee Meadows
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Fire Chief Moore unveils new plans for volunteer fire program.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen
PR 15-016

Reno, Nevada. Jan. 27, 2015. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Videos of County Commission meetings are replayed regularly on WCTV (Charter Ch. 193). You may also watch videos-on-demand online.

Presentation for provision of volunteer fire services: TM Fire Board Item 5. Truckee Meadows Fire Chief Charlie Moore gave a presentation on the volunteer program. Chief Moore said that Washoe County has a rich history of volunteer fire service and that continues today. He said he is committed to a strong volunteer program. However, Chief Moore said after a comprehensive measurement of the system, there are four areas that need to be strengthened or modified in preparation for robust growth in the coming years. These are:

  • Documentation of training and responses
  • Compliance with Nevada Revised Statutes and industry standards
  • Response reliability
  • Organizational structure

“Each volunteer department is funded by the taxpayer, and if they are going to use the financial resources of the taxpayer, then I am obligated to make sure they follow State Statutes, industry standards and that we use volunteers in the most optimal and safest way,” said Moore.

Chief Moore said he is committed to making the volunteer program successful, but eight separate volunteer fire departments within TMFPD and Sierra Fire Districts is not working. Moore said allowing each department to have their own governing boards and bylaws is not the way to move the organization forward.

Chief Moore said the volunteer organization has been studied by the Blue Ribbon Committee on Regional Fire (2014) and the Fire District’s consultants, Emergency Services Consulting International (2011) in the Standards of Cover Document. Both bodies of research recommended that the system of independent and autonomous volunteer departments be assimilated into a greater regional department.

Chief Moore said the time is right to complete these recommendations by first merging Sierra and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection Districts into one District, followed by a reorganization of volunteers.

The Board of Fire Commissioners approved a measure to endorse legislation to make this process more clear in the law and ensure that no tax increase occurs for constituents of Sierra Fire District.

Chief Moore also said a new, regional District will allow the Board of Fire Commissioners to consider service levels and expenditures in a streamlined way as the region prepares for new and perhaps robust growth.

"I want to thank all of the fire volunteers past and present," said Chief Moore. "I am proud of what our volunteers do to help support our career firefighters. My goal is to improve the volunteer program and I think my recommendations will do that. I know change can be controversial and difficult but it needs to be done."

View Chief Moore's full presentation.

Potential legislation for a permanent consolidation of TMFPD and Sierra Fire Protection District: TM Fire Board Item 6. The Board approved language for potential legislation to clarify and amend NRS 474 County Fire Protection District law and allow a merger or dissolution of the Sierra Fire Protection District and assume the area formerly bound by TMFPD. The legislation would allow the TMFPD the ability to annex the Sierra Fire Protection District territory.

Chief Moore said this legislation would only affect the TMFPD and the Sierra Fire Protection District and no other fire district.

Donation from Shirley Dale to Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) K-9 Unit: BCC Item 5.H.2. The Board accepted a $1,000 donation from Shirley Dale on behalf of the WCSO to purchase equipment for the K-9 Unit. Dale is a Washoe County resident and has been a longtime supporter of the WCSO as well as a passionate advocate for animals in our community. This is just one of a long series of extremely generous donations she has made to support the K-9 Unit over many years, ranging from the purchase of canines to necessary equipment and training. The Board thanked Dale for her support.

The K-9 Unit’s primary mission is to make a patrol officer’s job safer. A canine may be deployed when a suspect actively attempts to evade arrest by hiding or concealing him/herself, poses a threat to the public in general and/or has caused harm to someone. Canines can also be used as a tracking tool on narcotic searches or to apprehend suspects.

Statement of Intent to Participate in Swan Lake Nature Study: BCC Item 5.F.1. The Board approved the Statement of Intent to join other local agencies in the Swan Lake Resource Management area effort and serve on its advisory board. This area includes Swan Lake, Silver Lake and two sensitive playa/wetland systems located in the Stead-Lemmon Valley area. This area is important to wildlife. It’s estimated that more than 150 avian species use the wetland and the surrounding area to inhabit, nest and breed.

Cash donations for Senior Services: BCC Item 5.H.1. The Board approved more than $4,000 in donations to Washoe County Senior Services for the time period of Oct. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014. Washoe County receives donations throughout the year that help provide services to the County’s growing senior population. According to Washoe County Senior Services Director Grady Tarbutton, more than 100,000 people over the age of 60 call Washoe County home. Studies show there will be more than 130,000 people over the age of 60 living in the County by 2030, which is twice as many as the County had in 2007.