City leaders in Jacksonville Beach set to vote on fire department merger

Merging Jax Beach Fire rescue with JFRD

City leaders in Jacksonville Beach plan to vote Monday night on a proposal to merge its fire department with the City of Jacksonville.

Last Monday, a community workshop was held so neighbors could voice their opinions, which are mixed.

Those who support “contracting out” fire crews with Jacksonville's believe it could provide better safety equipment, bring more promotional opportunities and help fire crews respond to emergencies faster.

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However, Jacksonville Beach Fire Marshal Steve Sciotto said it would make response times worse because they would go from three units to two.

Right now, the average response time for fire crews in Jacksonville Beach is four minutes and eight seconds, according to Sciotto.

Neighbors who oppose the proposal, including Ken Marsh, said they are satisfied with the service as is.

“We’re trying to fix something that’s not broken,” Marsh said. “The issue is that we don’t know for sure what the future holds for any of us.”

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City leaders said the merger could also save taxpayers in Jacksonville Beach $15 million over 10 years.

Atlantic and Neptune Beaches merged their fire departments with JFRD several years ago.

Action News Jax requested JFRD’s response times for the beaches. The agency said it’s working on our request.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Jacksonville Beach City Hall.