The Elko County Fire Protection District (District) was established in Elko County in 1956 by an act of the County Commissioners pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Chapter 473. The District includes all of Elko County outside the boundaries of incorporated cities and unincorporated townships. Administration of the District is currently provided by the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF), with County Commissioners serving as the Board of Directors.
The District utilizes a combination of career staff and volunteers to provide high quality and fiscally responsible services to protect lives, property and the environment through efficient emergency response, prevention and education. The District operates 24/7/365 from 23 Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Stations and 3 Career Stations, staffed with approximately 250 Volunteer Firefighters, 12 Career staff, and 71 apparatus.
In light of the state’s bleak budget picture, the State no longer has the ability to subsidize “all risk” activities within the District.
“All-risk” service levels are determined by local officials in conjunction with residents. NDF began subsidizing these services within NRS 473 Fire Districts in the 1980s with the intention that local governments would eventually assume these responsibilities. At one time there were eight NRS 473 districts. Nevada now has three counties, including Elko County, still operating under this arrangement.
NDF has committed to local officials in Elko County to work closely in transitioning these services over a period of about a year and half. NDF recently went through this process with White Pine County, Washoe County, Douglas County, and Storey County. Those counties decided to take responsibility for providing “all-risk” services. These counties have expressed satisfaction with the increased local control and management flexibility that resulted from these changes.
These services were scheduled to be transferred back to Elko County, June 30, 2012, per Governor Brian Sandoval’s recommended 2012-2013 budget. Recognizing local government and public concern that was raised regarding the tight time-frame for these transfers, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and NDF, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, has reached agreement with Elko County to extend the deadline for transferring these services back to the county to June 30, 2015.
“The agreement reached will provide for a maximum of four years to transition and will allow for more preparation by the counties, as well as ensure the continuation of public protection in the impacted areas,” said DCNR Director Leo Drozdoff.
The purpose of this web site is to provide information and a public forum for the people of Elko County, and those in NDF and VFDs, to discuss the impact this transition will have on the level of “all-risk” services provided to our communities.
Your comments on this important issue are encouraged. Anonymous postings are allowed.