Message From The Manager

Recent news articles have discussed a proposal for the Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2 (DCRFPD #2) to annex the area currently within the boundaries of the city of Bend.

The idea for this concept was brought about by the completion of the deployment plan by Bend Fire & Rescue.  The deployment plan is an assessment process allowed through the guidelines established by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).  When a local community is not able to meet the guidelines established by NFPA it is possible to relieve liability by establishing new standards agreed to by governing bodies.  The assessment in the deployment plan determines current conditions and assesses what would be necessary to continue service at current levels.  To review this deployment click here:  Bend Fire & Rescue Deployment Plan 2009

The plan reveals a reduction in the department’s ability over the last decade to provide emergency services safely to the residents of the district and the city.  This reduction is a result of expenses exceeding the maximum 3% legal increase of revenues through property taxes.  This trend is projected to continue, particularly within the city of Bend, which has an especially low tax rate.  The department has unfilled positions that have resulted in the decline of the number of firefighters per 1,000 residents served.  When compared with other cities across the nation and in Oregon, the Bend Fire Department is toward the bottom in many categories of measurement.  These measurements are outlined in the deployment plan.

 In order to assess the situation the City and the Fire District decided to contract with a third party to give an unbiased opinion of the available options to protect the level of services t9 residents of both the city and the district.  The highly respected firm of "Emergency Services Consulting International was chosen to examine the facts and present options to the City Council and the Fire Board.  They have produced a report and will present the report to a joint work session of the council and the board on March 6, 2013 at 6:00 P.M. in the council chambers at Bend City Hall.  This meeting is a public meeting and interested parties are invited to attend. 

If the annexation option is pursued and successful it will result in no change of service for district residents.  The same crews would respond from the same stations with the same apparatus.  The permanent tax rate of $1.4366 for district residents is set by state law and cannot be increased.  A separate levy voted on by district residents is the only way to increase taxes and that option is not currently under discussion.

As this process moves forward we encourage you to get your questions answered.  You can call me at 541-318-0459 for more information or to make comments.

Thank you,
Tom Fay
 DCRFPD #2 Manager

© 2011 Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2