Consolidation of fire units stirs little debate

Collier County commissioners were mum this morning on the topic of fire department consolidation.

Commissioners are meeting at North Collier Regional Park to discuss emergency medical and fire services, and are expected to touch on issues like consolidation and ambulance transport.

And while the three-hour workshop was expected to be heated, the first topic of discussion – consolidating fire districts – was met with little discussion or debate.

Commissioners did not voice their opinion on whether districts should consolidate – either through a functional, or administrative, consolidation or a full consolidation of services – and only one person, North Naples resident Janet Vasey, took to the microphone.

Vasey said the county needs to look to communities – like Broward County – where consolidation has been successful.

Commissioner Georgia Hiller said she believed it was important look at consolidation, but said officials shouldn't just focus on administrative issues and cost savings.

“I would like to take a step back from you recommendations and go first to the question of is our system functioning and what do we need to do to better the system,” she said.

Commissioners are expected to discuss ambulance transport later this morning.

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