New regional fire authority for South Snohomish County launches Sunday

Starting Sunday, Snohomish County Fire District 1 will be known as South Snohomish Count Fire & Rescue. But the City of Mountlake Terrace will see no changes in service as a result of the change.

The South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners will meet for the first time on Sunday to officially establish a new regional fire authority (RFA). The RFA was approved by voters in the City of Lynnwood and Snohomish County Fire District 1 in the Aug. 1 primary election. It will consolidate Fire District 1 and the Lynnwood Fire Department to form South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue (SSCFR).

In addition to serving the City of Lynnwood and the unincorporated communities of Fire District 1, SSCFR will serve the cities of Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace as their existing service contracts with Fire District 1 will transfer to the RFA.

The initial meeting of the SSCFR Board of Commissioners will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at Fire District 1 Headquarters, 12425 Meridian Ave. S, Everett. Superior Court Judge Millie Judge, a former Fire District 1 Commissioner, will administer the oath of office to the seven SSCFR Commissioners: Fire District 1 Commissioners David Chan, Jim Kenny, Jim McGaughey, Bob Meador and Richard Schrock and Lynnwood City Councilmembers M. Christopher Boyer and Benjamin Goodwin. New Fire Chief Bruce Stedman will also be sworn in at the start of the meeting.

Most of the agenda for the meeting will be devoted to voting on resolutions and other business related to establishing a new governmental entity, including setting a budget for the remainder of 2017.

At 4 p.m., there will be a break to conduct a badge-pinning ceremony for Chief Stedman. Stedman was chosen to serve as the first chief of SSCFR after a nationwide search. He has more than 39 years in the fire service, most recently serving as Chief of the Arlington Fire Department. Prior to that, he served as Chief of the Alhambra Fire Department in California. He has a bachelor’s degree in occupational studies and a master’s degree in emergency services administration, both from California State University, Long Beach

The transition to SSCFR on Sunday will maintain service levels. When residents call 911, the same firefighters will respond from the same stations with the same equipment. Logos on trucks and uniforms won’t be changed until SSCFR has its own logo. Service levels are expected to improve as operational efficiencies are gained through regionalizing service delivery.

SSCFR will be the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in the county with 300 employees, including 250 uniformed firefighters providing 24-hour staffing at 14 fire stations.

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