The Whitewater city council has selected a consulting firm to assist with the integration of the fire department and emergency medical services into a new city department.
The city of Whitewater and Whitewater Fire Department, Inc. are in negotiations to transition and integrate those services. The city manager asked the council Thursday night to hear and select a consultant to assist in the transition, and it heard proposals from two firms Thursday.
The Public Consulting Group LLC estimated a six-month cost of $38,500, but the city of Whitewater negotiated the firm down to a cost of about $26,500.
According to the Public Consulting Group’s proposal, the consulting team will employ five people to assist in the transition process. The firm also proposed a five- to six-month timeline for its consulting services.
The consultant’s duties will include several aspects of creating the new department, including helping to hire a chief, setting an organizational and compensation structure, and establishing standards and procedures.
A municipally run fire department would benefit firefighters and EMTs with competitive wages and benefits, a memo in the council’s meeting packet stated. It would also allow for more direct oversight and greater accountability of department employees in regards to fire department performance and the use of tax dollars for department operations, the memo states.
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