The following was submitted by Orcas Fire & Rescue
One of the most critical issues that Orcas Island Fire and Rescue is evaluating is how to address our participation in the San Juan County Marine Operations User’s Group. The sheriff and surrounding emergency service providers have established the group to finance, manage, and operate the sheriff’s boat program and administer the public safety grant the sheriff has secured for a new emergency response vessel. The question of how we should be involved in this program has inspired other questions regarding our service.
On Jan. 9 at 5 p.m. in the Eastsound Fire Hall, we will be hosting a “town hall” meeting to ask our public to comment on our possible participation in the program.
Since 2010, OIFR has used the sheriff’s boat 14 times to transport patients to hospitals off island when the weather prohibits aeromedical transport – an average of 4.6 transports per year.
The boat has also been used for transporting OIFR emergency personnel to other islands and surrounding waters for emergency assistance.
At this time there are two proposed options to participate:
• Join the group as a financial partner that is currently estimated to cost OIFR just over $25,000 per year.
• Pay per use membership, which is slated to cost $6,500 per transport.
If you are unable to be there, the meeting minutes will be available on our website at orcasfire.org.