Northshore Fire Department votes to approve consolidation with Woodinville Fire and Rescue

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Northshore fire station in Kenmore
Photo by Jerry Pickard

On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, the Northshore Board of Fire Commissioners approved a vote to pursue organizational consolidation with Woodinville Fire and Rescue. 

Over the past year, the Northshore Fire Department has been considering merger options with Shoreline Fire Department and Woodinville Fire and Rescue. The goal of these discussions was to explore service improvements and cost reductions.

“It has been increasingly difficult for smaller agencies to operate at the high level of efficiency desired,” said Northshore Board Chair David Maehren. 
“This consolidation effort is part of a larger regional trend of fire department annexations and mergers. We look forward to building on what is already an excellent relationship with Woodinville Fire and Rescue.”

The advisory vote authorizes the Northshore Board of Commissioners to engage with the Woodinville Fire Board of Commissioners to pursue a 2021 ballot measure for a merger. Woodinville Fire and Rescue’s Board of Commissioners approved a similar measure in February. In preparation for the merger, both organizations will be hosting joint open public meetings and facilitating discussions with their local municipalities.

“Both organizations have a shared focus on community feedback and transparency,” said Fire Chief Greg Ahearn. “As partners, we can utilize existing personnel and resources to find better ways to serve our residents.”

Woodinville Fire and Rescue’s Fire Chief Gregory Ahearn has been serving as Northshore’s Interim Fire Chief since February. Both organizations have been working closely over the past year to examine operational efficiencies. In July, Northshore began an informational technology (IT) services contract with Woodinville.

The action by the Northshore Board could lead to a ballot measure as early as the Spring of 2021. The dates for the next regular Board of Commissioner meetings are as follows:

  • Woodinville Fire and Rescue: 5:00pm, August 11, 2020
  • Northshore Fire Department: 5:00pm, August 19, 2020
Both agencies post their meeting dates and preliminary agendas on their respective websites.

Since 1942, the Northshore Fire Department has provided comprehensive fire prevention, education, and emergency fire suppression services to the residents of the cities of Kenmore and Lake Forest Park. Northshore Fire Department has two fire stations and services an estimated 36,000 people.


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