Findings and recommendations from a study of the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Department were presented to the Las Vegas City Council Wednesday evening.
The study was conducted by the International City/County Management Association Center for Public Safety. The goal was to streamline the department to keep efficient services but possibly make or save money in the process.
Since 2004 the LVFR budget has grown from $77 million to $111 million, although it has remained flat the past few years. The city manager says it's unsustainable.
The study yielded 23 recommendations and eight of them were considered priority.
The Las Vegas Fire Chief, Mike Myers, says several recommendations are being completed now but others will take several months. Some concern contract negotiations which require more time.
One of the biggest issues is the duplication of services provided by LVFR and private ambulance companies like AMR. When someone calls 911, both units respond to scene.
The firefighter's union president, Scott Johnson, says they transport patients to the hospital 30 percent of the time. That generates millions of dollars in revenue each year.
A committee is being created to explore two options. Discontinue the emergency medical services from the department and save money through personnel and equipment or fully engage without help from private companies to generate more revenues.
AMR's General Manager says the recommendations are concerning, and he's asking to be included in the committee to help find a solution together.
Everyone agreed the partnership has worked well but this is a budget issue.
They stress to the public safety is a priority, and they can expect the same level of service.
A committee will be formed by Feb. 1, with findings and final recommendations on the issue in the next six to nine months.
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