SUTHERLIN, Ore. — The city of Sutherlin signed a contract with Douglas County Fire District 2 back in 2010, which was intended to last through 2015, but some city councilors and the mayor reportedly think there could be better, less expensive options.
About two months ago, one councilor suggested the city looks into a mostly, if not, all-volunteer, fire department, which would mean breaking the contract with Douglas District 2.
Many community members are concerned that returning to a volunteer staff would not only extend response time, but they’re also worried volunteers will be hard to find and that it might not even save the money the councilors claim the switch would save.
“Everybody’s looking at tax dollars, and I’m looking at like your car insurance. We all have to pay it hoping we don’t have to use it. But I would rather have to pay for the fire department and not need it than to need it and not have it. And I think that’s what a lot of people are looking at,” said resident Tracy Van Dolah.
The council is reportedly split on the decision. On Monday, Feb. 25, the council is scheduled to vote whether to continue to contract with the county or decide to explore other options.