In an effort to improve public safety and keep operation costs low, officials announced yesterday that Whatcom Fire District 8 and the Bellingham Fire Department will merge their administrative operations starting February 1.
The agreement includes eliminating the current District 8 chief position and bringing the district under the leadership of the Bellingham Fire Chief.
The decision comes after the retirements of chiefs from both agencies.
Current District 8 Interim Fire Chief Bill Hewett says that for the last year, firefighters from both agencies have answered each other’s fire calls in bordering areas and have been regularly training together.
Hewett also says the contract brings a possible future merger of both agencies’ fire and EMS services one step closer.