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Welcome to the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District website; the newly minted agency responsible for providing fire suppression, emergency medical service, rescue, hazardous materials response, and fire prevention services to the communities of Camp Verde, McGuireville, Rimrock, and Lake Montezuma.
By governing board approval, on November 20th, 2018, both the Montezuma Rimrock and Camp Verde Fire Boards each individually resolved to merge the two districts together to form the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District. On January 2nd, 2019, the new district commenced operations with the goal to increase the effectiveness of the organization by even further maximizing the efficiencies that had already been gained through joint collaboration as one agency. This is because on July 1, 2016, both the Camp Verde and Montezuma Rimrock Fire Districts had functionally merged by adopting a Joint Powers Agreement to function collectively as the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority, a contractual arrangement that both districts entered into in order to function as one common entity. The success of these bold actions have proven to not only help to preserve vital emergency services to both regions, but also over time, will allow for enhanced services and eventually lower costs (taxes) to the residents.
While the change from an Authority to a District was less dramatic than the change from two fire districts to a fire authority, this is nonetheless a significant accomplishment and represents a significant commitment and level of trust that was gained through the experience of operating as the Fire Authority. The contract between the districts to create the Authority could have been legally canceled, which would have resulted in the two separate districts reassuming their individual responsibilities to provide services to their respective communities. In contrast, the merger of these two districts is now permanent, and by statute, cannot be undone. This difference highlights the fact that all who were involved with the formation of the Authority and now this new District recognized that collectively we are a better and stronger agency, and as such, we provide more efficient delivery of our services to all of our residents and visitors. There will be no going backward. Instead, we will only boldly move forward to deliver the best possible service and care we are physically and economically capable of providing to all of our residents, property owners, and visitors.
It is hoped that in the very near future, these “bold steps” will begin to be more evident as we capitalize on the savings and efficiencies gained. We are currently in the midst of acquiring real estate so that we will soon be able to start the construction of a new fire station. We also anticipate soon purchasing new fire apparatus to replace some of our aging fleet. Finally, we will also soon be adding additional firefighters to our roster to staff the new station and trucks, all with the goal of increasing our capabilities and reducing our response times to emergencies.
We will be using this website, as well as press releases and social media to keep everyone informed of the proposed changes. We also look forward to addressing any concerns or comments about how we are doing in providing service to you.
Terry Keller, Fire Chief