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Wausau to unveil Metro area fire services report tomorrow

Wausau Fire Department building on Grand Avenue. Image taken 6/13/2011.
Wausau Fire Department building on Grand Avenue. Image taken 6/13/2011.

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Wausau metro leaders and the community will get their first look at a fire services report from the city of Wausau on how to improve fire response times for the city.

Mayor Jim Tipple says they were looking to see how best to place a new west side fire station. "We wanted to see how response times were in the Metro area, and how they could potentially be improved if we shared services or got into combined responses."

Police and fire officials will get an early look at the report tomorrow afternoon. Tipple says they're stakeholders who need to know what's in the report and get back to their communities. "It's a big long report, and I think some of them read the executive summary, but to drill down and get their questions answered will be very beneficial. And they're going to do this ahead of the committee of the whole."

The survey concluded there would not likely be a large savings by consolidating all five districts, but the improvement in service delivery through the elimination of municipal boundaries would be immeasurable. Tipple says that is why the study recommends exploring cooperative efforts, such as equipment purchasing. “There’s five aerials in the metro area, and we could get by with probably two, but there’s five, so there’s a lot of duplication and aerials are not cheap. Ours almost cost us a million dollars. A million dollars is a lot of money to spend for smaller communities to keep up the response time and their level of service.”

The findings of the study will be presented to the Wausau City Council Thursday, September 19th starting at 6pm at a Committee of the Whole meeting. Area municipal leaders have been invited to attend.