Woodinville and Bothell firefighters voted recently to merge into one local of the International Fire Firefighters Association, final approval for the merger is expected in June for the national leadership.
The April 24 vote to merge the two locals (tradition dictates the newly merged local union take the lowest number, IAFF Local 2099), comes on the heels of increased exploration by the Woodinville Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners and the City of Bothell Fire Department to either merge the two organizations or at least enter into an inter-local agreement to work the two communities jointly.
In March, Woodinville Fire Commissioner Chair Tim Osgood said that the board was starting to consider Bothell’s overtures to combine the two firefighting organizations (). That, and the uncertainty of when or if the Woodinville fire chief vacancy will be filled (currently the board is acting in the role of fire chief with Deputy Chief Mark Chubb is running the daily operations of the district), the locals started exploring their future as one organization.
The Woodinville Local 2950 sent Patch the following statement on the voter to merge:
"Chairman Osgood and the Woodinville Board of Fire Commissioners have indicated that pursuing a merger and/or consolidation of Woodinville Fire & Rescue with a neighboring jurisdiction is in the best interest of the Woodinville citizens. The Board and Local 2950 have a common interest in providing exceptional fire and emergency medical services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. A merger will create both administrative and operational efficiencies as well as enhanced services that we are able to provide the community."
"Our best possible partner in such an arrangement is Bothell Fire & EMS. Consequently, the Woodinville Firefighters (IAFF Local 2950), with a nearly 98% yes vote, supported actions to merge with the Bothell Firefighter's Local (IAFF Local 2099). This action formalizes our commitment to the consolidation process and supports the direction of our District leadership."
Woodinville Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.