Potential consolidation stymied by organizational differences
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A potential merger of the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District and the Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District is on hold pending resolution of “numerous complexities” the organizations encountered while exploring the concept of consolidating the two fire-fighting agencies.
The two departments talked about the merger for a year, but obstacles such as differences in accreditation, major capital needs and structural organization have required both departments to step back and resume independent – but cooperative – operations.
“Merging these two organizations has proven to be very difficult, and, unfortunately, we have many issues that we have not been able to resolve,” said Jerry “Doc” Peterson, president of the LDFPD Board. “Both departments remain committed to serving our shared community in a professional, efficient manner, providing excellent, seamless emergency response.”
Red, White and Blue Fire Chief Jim Keating said the process identified items needing more study, including issues that must be addressed independently by each district prior to any decision to move forward with consolidation.
The future holds the possibility of numerous joint ventures between the districts.
Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley similarly appreciated the effort that went into the consolidation process and indicated that the two departments have only increased their mutual respect and admiration.
“We’ll continue operating as a team with our counterparts at Red, White & Blue, cooperating and collaborating on all manner of activities,” he said. “It’s not going to change anything we’re dealing with day to day, and we maintain an excellent working relationship across all divisions.”