Spanish Fort Fire Rescue Department merges with city

By GUY BUSBY
Government Editor
guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 8/10/22

SPANISH FORT — After more than 10 years of discussion and effort, the Spanish Fort Fire Rescue Department is now a municipal agency, city officials said.At the Spanish Fort City Council meeting …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Spanish Fort Fire Rescue Department merges with city

Posted

SPANISH FORT — After more than 10 years of discussion and effort, the Spanish Fort Fire Rescue Department is now a municipal agency, city officials said.

At the Spanish Fort City Council meeting Monday, Aug. 1, the day the merger took place, Fire Chief Roger Few was sworn in as a municipal employee.

"This is a step in our journey," Few said. "I was looking back in our documents. On Nov. 4, 2011, the board sent a letter to then Mayor Joe Bonner asking for this process to begin. It didn't take but 10 years and nine months, but we got there."

Few said the merger is a major move forward in the decade-long effort.

"It has been quite a challenge for both sides, and a lot of folks that started the journey with us have moved on to other items, but again, this is step in the journey, and we have made probably the largest step that we've got to take," Few said.

Mayor Mike McMillan said city officials are looking forward to welcoming Few and other fire department employees as municipal employees.

"Thank you for running a good department," McMillan told Few. "Thank you for consenting to come on as our fire chief. I look forward to many years of moving this forward and you certainly have been a very big part in this integration of the department you have run for a number of years, and I want to thank you for that."

The mayor said other employees of the fire department will be sworn in at the city council meeting Aug. 15.

Paid firefighters and other department employees will become city employees at municipal pay grades equal to their current salaries.

The Spanish Fort Fire Rescue Department was created in 1962. The department has full-time and part-time paid firefighters as well as other staff members in addition to volunteer firefighters.

While the department has been a separate agency, the city has supported firefighting efforts. The current Spanish Fort budget includes $1.67 million for the fire department.

City officials said in earlier meetings that the volunteer fire department will remain a separate agency working with the municipal department. The volunteer department will also raise money to support firefighting efforts in Spanish Fort.

Few and other officials said in previous meetings that merging the fire department into the city will make funding and operations more efficient, including efforts to build a new fire station near Spanish Fort City Hall.

Stay in the know on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Sign up for our free email newsletter.

* indicates required