SHERIDAN — Sheridan Fire-Rescue Department Chief Terry Lenhart will go before Sheridan City Council to approve the consultant chosen for the county-wide fire study.
Three entities did not contribute to the study — Big Horn and Story fire districts and Rocky Mountain Ambulance. The three will still be involved in the study but will not receive recommendations specific to their departments.
“It will still include what we do in relation to them; they just won’t look inside their operations as deeply,” Lenhart said.
The purpose of the study is to gain an overview of countywide fire services, how they operate, look at efficiencies and how each entity compares to national benchmarks. The study will include emergency response data and prevention activities.
During the four-month study, the consultant will look at equipment, facilities and apparatus use and organizational structures.
Lenhart said Big Horn and Story fire boards weren’t interested in paying the extra money for the study. Rocky Mountain Ambulance co-owner Troy Goodwin said the timing wasn’t right for the private company.
Goodwin said a lot of reasons, including personal reasons, contributed to their final decision not to contribute. Around the time of SFRD asking RMA to contribute, co-owner Tom Goodwin was undergoing heart surgery, and Troy Goodwin said it was difficult relaying information about business during that time.
Goodwin also noted financial status as a reason for not contributing.
“At the time, it’s not our best time to have a lot of cash flow around because it’s wintertime and it’s not our prime time,” Goodwin said. “There are other things we’re trying to get done before the summer.”
As far as receiving feedback on services rendered for Sheridan County, RMA meets with the city, county and trauma board at Sheridan Memorial Hospital to go over response time and efficiencies on a monthly basis. Outside of monthly meetings, RMA currently seeks other avenues to help craft its business plan.
“We are looking at other sources to help our business plan as a private industry of how we can grow,” Goodwin said. “Like everything, that comes with a cost.”
RMA plays a significant part in the daily operations of the fire districts. In just the month of March, SFRD completed approximately 42 medical assists for RMA. Goose Valley Fire Department assisted on approximately three calls for RMA in that month. Earlier this year, new protocols were established for fire districts to more efficiently and consistently respond to calls when both entities are involved.
Despite the lack of financial contribution and participation by Big Horn and Story fire districts and Rocky Mountain Ambulance, the fire study will aim to find efficiencies among the Sheridan County fire districts and emergency response teams.