JCFD#3 realigns service for greater need in Central Point

Jackson County Fire District 3  Chief Dan Petersen announced an upgrade in service for the Central Point station last week. He said the district is now responding with four full time engine companies with two of those companies serving the greater Central Point area out of the fire station on Hwy 99.

Chief Petersen chose Central Point as the station to staff the additional company based on
workload. This station responds to 47% of the total calls for service in the District. This
additional company will add depth to the urban and rural communities of the greater Central
Point area for the single engine responses. This will place two companies on scene
significantly faster at the 15-20 working structure fires that occur in these communities each
year.

The district has historically staffed three engines with Firefighters 24/7 supplemented with volunteers. At times, crews were split apart to respond with an ambulance. By redistributing
personnel, four fully functional engine companies will deliver the service to our customers with
a fire captain making the critical decisions on each unit. No additional staff has been added
to make this transition.

The White City station will now respond with a minimum of three firefighters instead of four.

The Eagle Point station will continue to be staffed with three firefighters each day.

Mercy Flights has the responsibility to deliver ambulance service to our communities. Through an agreement with Mercy Flights, Fire District 3 is utilized as a backup ambulance service when necessary. Fire District 3 will maintain an ambulance at each staffed station and can
“shift” to an ambulance as necessary to be sure our customers receive the best service possible.

Fire District 3 serves 48,000 residents living in the communities of White City, Central Point, Eagle Point, Sams Valley, Gold Hill, Agate Lake, and Dodge Bridge. The District responds to over 5,000 calls for service each year with 58 full-time employees and 35 volunteers operating from seven fire stations in the 166 square mile area.

The “Big Green Trucks” provide the crews with the ability to handle any situation they may face as they respond to alarms throughout our District. If an engine is clearing from a call in the rural area and a car fire is reported they can immediately respond to solve the problem. Using
our partners as part of a system response to emergencies will ensure the community is well
protected and service is not duplicated where it is unnecessary, said Peterson.

The District will consider an additional fire station during a strategic planning process this fall.

With the City of Central Point expansion to the east side of Interstate 5 the District is unable to meet  response time goals for that portion of the urban area. If a new station is selected as a priority, an additional firefighter on each shift will be necessary to fully staff that station. “The district is working on budget prioritization this year to ensure that we can sustain the additional staff before a commitment can be made for this concept,” noted the chief.

“Our vision is to reduce or eliminate risk from fire, rescue, and medical events in the
communities we serve. This adjustment represents several months of discussion about our
mission, service levels to our community, and our partners in delivering emergency response
to our community,” said Petersen.
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