North Bend council questions fire service options

The North Bend City Council needs a lot more information before council members can make a decision about the city's future fire service.

At a Feb. 27 council work session, city staff presented a brief comparison between the Snoqualmie fire station and the one in North Bend.

North Bend City Administrator Duncan Wilson said the city has four options for future fire protection service: stay with Eastside Fire and Rescue (EFR); form a stand-alone department with Fire Protection District No. 38; partner with District 38 to contract with Snoqualmie for fire service; or form a North Bend-only department. Lee Soptich, EFR fire chief, explained how the station now operates and touted some of the benefits of the EFR partnership.

The 10-year contract with EFR expires at the end of this year.

"Now is the time we need to make a decision," North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing said. He said grumbling from some city residents about the current arrangement prompted consideration of other options.

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