Posted by Steve Lettau on Jul 08, 2020

Jeff Rumage - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A public policy research organization will look at the possibility of shared services among six Ozaukee County fire departments.

Municipal leaders in Cedarburg, Grafton, Mequon, Thiensville, Saukville and Port Washington have reached out to the Wisconsin Policy Forum to research the operations of local fire departments and recommend possible opportunities for collaboration or possibly the consolidation of two or more departments.

"We look at a broad range of options," said Wisconsin Policy Forum President Rob Henken. "It could be anything from better coordination of training to the sharing of apparatus to greater collaboration in quality control."

Researchers will analyze data related to fire department budgets, personnel and operations. They will also work collaboratively with local fire departments to determine which shared services options would be most effective in their community, Henken said.

The cost of the $22,000 study will be equally split by the city of Cedarburg, town of Cedarburg, village of Grafton, Mequon, Thiensville and the village of Saukville. The project is expected to begin around June 15 and is expected to be finished in six months.

Fredonia officials planned to consider joining the study June 4. The Wisconsin Policy Forum has not heard back from Belgium and Waubeka.