C-W fire consolidation talks continue

More discussions are expected Monday at the Camas City Council workshop

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The Camas and Washougal City Councils could soon be deciding whether to hire a consultant to assist in a consolidation process involving fire departments from both cities.

Washougal Fire Chief Ron Schumacher said if the Camas council decides to proceed forward and approves the cost of a consultant, the cities will seek requests for proposals.

A committee that includes the Camas and Washougal mayors, city administrators, fire chiefs and human resources directors has met regarding the possible consolidation of the departments. The committee also includes Washougal council members Rod Morris and Dave Shoemaker and Camas council members Greg Anderson and Don Chaney, as well as representatives from the firefighters union, members of both fire departments and Washougal’s volunteer firefighters.

“It’s going to be a long process,” Schumacher said after last night’s Washougal council meeting.

Last year, the Camas/Washougal Professional Firefighters consolidated into Local 2444, as members of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

In December, the CFD plans to vacate the East County Fire & Rescue station on 39th Street. That includes two firefighters for each of the three shifts. Those six firefighters will then be housed in and respond to calls from the WFD building at 1400 “A” St. The current minimum staffing of two firefighters at the WFD will increase to four.

The consolidation topic is expected to be discussed during the Camas City Council workshop Monday, at 4:30 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 616 N.E. Fourth Ave.