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Fire Department hires consultant to create master plan

by HEIDI DESCH
Whitefish Pilot | March 24, 2021 1:00 AM

The Whitefish Fire Department is planning to create a master plan that would assess the current and future service demands of the department.

In addition, the plan would perform an analysis of the community growth projects and look at their impact on emergency service planning, delivery and financing, according to Fire Chief Joe Page.

City Council last week approved hiring AP Triton Consulting to perform the work to create a master plan. Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate a contract for up to $45,000 with the company.

The fire department provides emergency structural fire, initial attack wildland fire, numerous rescue scenarios and hazardous materials responses within the city, the Whitefish Fire Service Area and portions of the Flathead Fire Service Area. The department also provides paramedic level emergency ambulance transport services to a larger area that also includes the Olney area north and west to the Flathead County line.

“Each of the fire department’s response areas have continued to see substantial growth including the number and size of structures, the growth out into our wildland urban interface, the risks associated with the BNSF rail line, and our vibrant tourist population that enjoys our downtown,” Page said.

With growing risks facing the fire department and potential annexations, Page notes, it’s imperative to hire a consultation to complete a master plan for the department to look at current and future service demands.