Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

What is the difference between a Fire Department and a Fire District?

      Generally, a Fire Department is a municipal department governed by a city manager and or city council.  A Fire District is a Special District that collects taxes and is governed by an elected 5 or 7 person board.  A Fire Department usually competes for funds with other city departments (library, roads, parks etc.). A Fire District or Fire Authority collects taxes only for itself and does not compete with other departments or agencies.

 

How many Fire Agencies are in Lane County?

      There are 16 Fire Agencies in Lane County. About five years ago there were 21 Fire Agencies in Lane County. The number is lower because of mergers and consolidations.

 

What is the difference between a Fire District and a Fire Authority?

       A Fire Authority is usually a result of a consolidation between two fire districts.  Governmental agencies are allowed by state statute (190 agreement) to consolidate resources without a vote of the people.

       Lane County Fire District #1 and Lane Rural Fire and Rescue consolidated in 2012. In 2016 there was a ballot measure to merge the two district which would change the tax collection rate for both districts.  Ballot measure 20-267 passed and the two districts were considered merged with a permanent tax rate of $2.03 per $1000 assessed value of property owned. 

       In 2018 Santa Clara Fie District consolidated with Lane Fire Authority. The two agencies are currently working together under a contract for all services. 

 

How many calls does Lane Fire Authority run per year?

      In the time period from 2015-2019, our call volume has increased from 4,677 to 6,193; which is a 29% increase over 4 years.  77.2% or 4,785 of the calls were medical related.

 

What area in Lane County does Lane Fire Authority Service?

      Lane Fire Authority covers around 282 square miles, North, West and South of the western part of Eugene.  This area encompasses but is not limited to the cities and areas of Santa Clara, Irving, Alvadore, Franklin, Alderwood, Elmira, Noti, Walton, Veneta, Crow, Lorane Hwy, Fox Hollow and Spencer Creek.  There are about 44,000 patrons within our boundary.

Our Ambulance Service Area (ASA) is much larger at 425 square miles.  We provide ambulance service to Lane Fire, Lake Creek, Junction City, the majority of Harrisburg, portions of Monroe, Santa Clara, and Eugene/Springfield when needed. This adds about 22,000 more patrons that our ASA services.

 

What services are Fire Agencies in the State of Oregon required to provide? 

      Fire Agencies in Oregon are mandated to provide fire suppression services to the property owners within their boundaries. Almost all fire agencies provide many other services to their patrons, such as; medical response, hazardous materials response, motor vehicle accidents, business inspections, plans reviews, driveway and bridge inspections, public education and prevention, public CPR/First Aid classes, hydrant testing within the city limits, assist law enforcement, and miscellaneous public assists.

 

How many stations does Lane Fire Authority have?

      We operate out of 16 stations, 3 of which have career staffing 24/7.  Administration is based at our Veneta Headquarters Station ; ambulance service operations are out of the Irving station. 8 of the 16 stations are supported by more than 60 dedicated volunteers.

 

How many personnel does Lane Fire Authority currently have?

      This number is really a moving target.  We have a total of 37 paid staff which includes our 24/7 medic unit staff and station staff, 40-hour daytime staff, administration staff, single-role medic staff, and part-time maintenance staff. We currently have 62 volunteers, this includes our community volunteers that respond from home to a station when they are available and our out-of-district volunteers that do a 24 hour shift every 6th day and are excused for work or school during that time.   Our out-of-district volunteers are often volunteering for the experience of doing this as a career. Because of this we have a consistent turnover of personnel. 

 

Why does a separate fire unit arrive before the ambulance/medic unit?

      Not all fire departments have the staff to provide medical transport. We have a large geographical area to cover with two full-time ambulances and one part-time ambulance. Because of this we send medically trained crews from the closest station or from our Veneta or Irving stations to the incident address to begin providing care.  These crews can assess the patient and begin treatment prior to the ambulance arriving. This is the same practice you will find throughout Lane County.  There are 5 ambulance service areas in Lane County staffed by the following agencies: Western Lane Ambulance (Florence), Lane Fire Authority, Eugene/Springfield, South Lane County Fire & Rescue (Cottage Grove & Creswell) and Oakridge Fire Department. 

 

What duties do the volunteers provide compared to those of the paid staff?

       Lane Fire Authority volunteers work and train hand-in-hand with our paid staff to respond on every type of emergency alarm our agency receives.  We are very proud of the level of professionalism and expertise our volunteers demonstrate. Our paid staff responders are all either EMT Intermediates or Paramedics.  About 75% of our volunteers are EMT’s or higher and we offer in-house Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) training yearly to our firefighters. We train our new firefighters how to do basic vitals and assist with equipment, patient packaging, and documentation on medical calls.

 

What does it take to be a volunteer firefighter with Lane Fire Authority?

       If you are good at time management, looking for a rewarding cause and are interested in giving back to the community you live in by volunteering, Lane Fire Authority is and has been committed to conducting two recruit academies a year, one in the spring and one in the fall.  Because of staffing limitations, we will only accept 10-12 recruits at a time. We open our hiring process for the fall academy in June and it goes through the second week in August. Our spring academy process opens the first week in December and closes the first week in February. The best way to view our process is to go to our website (www.lanefire.org). The very top section below the HOME link is “Volunteer & Career Opportunities” If you hover over this it will give you a dropdown menu, click on “Volunteer Firefighter Program”. This page will give you a plethora of information. If you are interested or have any questions, please call or email Mark Boren, Recruitment & Retention Coordinator at 541-935-2226 Ext. 225 or markboren@lanefire.org.