The Boards of Directors for the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District and the Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District (Boulder County, Colorado) are beginning the exploratory process of forming a joint fire authority. While today’s announcement is the first step to begin formal discussions, a potential merger “could be the logical solution for many smaller fire agencies as the cost of providing fire and emergency service continues to rise,” says Board President Jeremy Debacker. “Both of the boards also recognize that the formation of a fire authority or merger could result in more efficiency, better utilization of resources and a stronger response capability without additional costs to our citizens.”

Boulder Rural Board President Kurt Gattmann also expressed his praise and encouragement for regional collaboration. “It is these kinds of bold initiatives that, over time, could lead to saving tax dollars to our customers while at the same time providing an opportunity for better emergency service delivery.” As the discussion process continues, both of the district boards have pledged full and open discussions with their communities as the new fire authority option is considered. Public hearings will be scheduled to keep the residents informed and to seek feedback on the proposed concept.

The Boulder Rural Fire Protection District serves mostly residential properties in unincorporated areas of Boulder County including Gunbarrel, Lake Valley and Heatherwood. It serves a population of approximately 17,000 and responds to 800 emergency events annually. They also provide service to areas of Sunshine Canyon. They have 2 fire stations, one located at 6230 Lookout Road in Gunbarrel and one in Lake Valley. Boulder Rural Fire has 18 employees supplemented by 17 volunteers. They have an annual budget of approximately $3.8 million.

The Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District serves the communities of Superior, Eldorado Springs, Flagstaff, Marshal and unincorporated areas of Boulder County. It serves a population of approximately 24,000 and responds to 1400 emergency events annually. They have 4 staffed fire stations located in the communities they serve. Rocky Mountain Fire has 40 employees which include full time, volunteer, part-time and seasonal employees. They have an annual budget of approximately $7.5 million.

Any questions or comments can be directed to Chief Bruce Mygatt, Boulder Rural Fire at 303-530-9575 or Chief Mike Tombolato, Rocky Mountain Fire at 303-494-3735.