Waukesha County

Fire and EMS Study Identifies Ways to Enhance Life Safety Services while Saving Taxpayer Dollars

(WAUKESHA, WI) – The results of a Waukesha County Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Feasibility Study show that regional collaboration could enhance fire prevention, improve emergency services, cut costs, and reduce volunteer firefighter turnover, while allowing local fire departments to maintain their identity. The study, conducted by Fitch and Associates, LLC, analyzed fire and EMS services from several municipalities in Waukesha County.


“The results of this study answer a question I asked at the beginning of this process,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “‘Is there a better way to provide the same or greater level of service to our citizens while becoming more efficient?’ The answer is ‘yes.’ Following the recommendations presented in this study will allow our local fire departments to improve their response time while cutting costs by sharing resources, without giving up their independence as local fire departments.”


The study, conducted by Fitch and Associates, LLC, analyzed information from numerous fire districts, Waukesha County Communications’ Computer Aided Dispatch Data, and local information from 13 participating communities. They then provided recommendations that aim to identify areas of investment to ensure reliable and sustainable service to the community while prolonging the use of volunteer firefighters.  The four prioritized high-level recommendations include:

  • Implementation of a county-wide dispatch system for all fire and EMS services
  • Regionalization of EMS services
  • Functional consolidation, including a new Training Division and a new Fire Prevention Division
  • Long-term evaluation of full consolidation


The results of the Waukesha County Fire and EMS Feasibility study were unveiled to fire chiefs and county municipal leaders at a meeting last night at the Waukesha County Emergency Operations Center. Later this month presentations will be made at the Executive Committee of the Waukesha County Board and during a meeting of the Waukesha County Cooperation Council.


About the Waukesha County Fire Study

The Waukesha County Fire and EMS Feasibility Study began in 2016 after Waukesha County surveyed local municipalities in the Lake Country area to determine their interest in helping fund a consultant study to determine whether emergency services could be improved or maintained at a reduced cost to taxpayers.  More information about the study, and the full report by Fitch and Associates, is available online at https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/countyexecutive/fire-and-ems-study/..

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