Cheney Free Press -

By AL STOVER
Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights council to renew agreement with Fire District 10

Fire Chief Mitch Metzger to again provide interim deputy chief services

 


At its April 10 study session, the Airway Heights City Council agreed to forward an amendment to the interlocal agreement between the city and Spokane County Fire District 10 regarding deputy fire chief services to its April 17 meeting.

In 2016, the city entered into a one-year agreement with Fire District 10 for these services. Since then, Fire Chief Mitch Metzger has performed deputy fire chief services for Fire District 10 in conjunction with his own duties in Airway Heights. Under the terms of the contract, Fire District 10 paid the city $4,650 per month.

District 10 commissioners requested that City Council renew the agreement to allow the agency time to fill the deputy fire chief position, or explore other options, such as contracting or annexation for fire services. The commissioners approved the agreement on April 4. The agreement would extend the contract to April 15, 2018.

City Manager Albert Tripp said he and Metzger discussed the pros and cons to renewing the agreement. Tripp said one of the benefits from it is the significant progress in how the agencies work together. Since he’s been with Fire District 10, Metzger has gotten to know the crew, which he said has helped him in directing them during emergencies. He has also learned procedures from District 10 he can bring to Airway Heights and vice-versa.

Tripp said the con of the agreement has been Metzger’s absence from his office at the Airway Heights Fire Department.

“From my observation there hasn’t been a significant impact,” he added.

Tripp said the only other question he had regarding the agreement is “is there more to come?”

“The question is how can we continue to achieve this (relationship) without him there,” Tripp said. “He’s kind of the link in the chain. One of the things we’ve talked about is an exchange or rotation between Airway Heights and Fire District 10 staff.”

Metzger said he was comfortable with working with Fire District 10 for one more year. Council also discussed meeting with Fire District 10 commissioners regarding the possibility of annexation or contracting for services.

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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