Fire district expands with new department

The Arizona Fired & Medical Authority now has a new member. The newly formed South County Fire & Medical District--a merger for the former Sun Lakes and Tonopah fire districts--joins the North County Fire & Medical District.

The Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, headquartered in Sun City West, has expanded.

The governing boards of the Tonopah Fire District and the Sun Lakes Fire District voted separately and unanimously to merge. Sun Lakes had been part of the AFMA for more than a year.

The new entity will be known as South County Fire & Medical District. The former Sun City West Fire District expanded into the North County Fire & Medical District a few years ago.  In July 2017 NCFMD entered into a joint operating agreement with the Sun Lakes department to become the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority.

“This is a win-win for both departments,” said Forest Kohler, chairman of the new organization.

The Tonopah district is served by a small department that serves interrupted areas scattered over 400 square miles in western Maricopa County, and Sun Lakes is land locked with no room to expand its base.

The primary reason for the merger, Kohler explained, was to save administrative costs and provide better services to all departments.

There will be an expanded story with further information in next week’s Sun City West Independent.

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