(Le Mars) — As the Le Mars city council tackles the work of figuring the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, two departments will now be combined into one budget. City Administrator Jason Vacura says the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department and the Le Mars Ambulance Services will operate under one budget, and the two public safety units will be merged together as one entity.
Vacura says the city looked at three separate areas when considering the merger. He says they even discovered some cost savings.
The city administrator says the merger should make both entities more efficient along with improved service. Vacura says the city is planning to purchase a third ambulance unit.
Vacura says with the merger of the community ambulance and fire department, there will be some cross-training with those volunteers.
Another consideration for the merger, according to Vacura, is the fact that both the Le Mars Ambulance as well as the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department are often called upon to provide assistance services to some neighboring communities, such as Merrill and Oyens. Vacura says response time is expected to improve with the consolidation.
Vacura says the same would hold true with the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.
Vacura says the city council has been involved with the discussion, and both the ambulance volunteers and the fire and rescue volunteers held a meeting this past Monday to be informed of the merger.