Volunteer Firemen Group Reorganizing City/County Association


For immediate release:

The Lamar/ Prowers County Volunteer Fire Department have begun to take steps to reorganize under the City of Lamar and Prowers County.  The volunteer fire department has been a stand alone 501c3 organization for the past 23 years.  They have provided volunteer fire service to both the City of Lamar and Prowers County on a contractual basis.  The membership has discussed and decided not to renew these contracts effective December 31st, 2012. 

The membership feels that the current three department system is not as efficient as it could be, and would be better managed by each governmental entity.  This reorganization will save both the City of Lamar and Prowers County a considerable amount of money that can now be put towards better equipment and training for firefighters.  

During the next four months the Volunteer Department will be meeting with City and County officials to complete this reorganization by the end of the year.  The membership of the Lamar/ Prowers County Volunteer Fire Department would like to reiterate that the quality of service provided by the fire department to the community will not diminish and we are committed to continuing the improvement and advancement of emergency services in our area.    

Christopher Duffy,

In a follow up interview on September 13 with Chief Duffy, he stated that the decision not to renew with the city and county took place during the volunteer’s business meeting on September 12, attended in part by representatives from the city and the county.  Duffy said all positions are unchanged at this time within the Volunteer Fire Department.  “We have about 23 members on board at this time and there were 17 at the meeting last night,” he said.  Duffy remarked that there was a two-third majority vote to opt out of the contracts by the end of the year and the volunteer group is going to be represented by legal counsel on some matters.

“We have three persons who are receiving pensions for their past service at this time and there are some others who are nearing retirement age and we want a full understanding of their benefits and how this might affect our members,” Duffy said.  He added a certified letter has been sent to the county and the city outlining the volunteer’s decisions and a future meeting will be held with Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook and County Fire Chief Staffon Warn to look at everyone’s options.  “We’re also going to sit down with the city and the county before the end of the year, perhaps at a joint meeting to review these decisions,” Chief Duffy added.  “We’re looking at using the joint funding for equipment updates and better training programs,” he said.

Duffy expected no real changes to take place in membership.  “We have some members who don’t have the time available to go on both city and county fire calls which is why some only go on city responses and others take just the county calls,” he explained.  Chief Duffy emphasized that the level of committment to emergency responses on the part of the volunteers has not diminished, stating their committment to serve their fellow citizens has not lessened by the turn of events.

by Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: CityCommissionerscommunityCountyEducationFeaturedPublic Safety


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