Is a countywide fire department in Washtenaw County's future?
The head of Washtenaw Area Mutual Aid Association sees fire department consolidations as inevitable because of ongoing economic pressures on local governments.
Saline Fire Chief Craig Hoeft, who is president of the WAMAA, told Heritage Newspapers the day may come when there is a countywide fire department.
Hoeft pointed to ongoing consolidation talks between the Scio Township and Dexter Area fire departments to form a regional fire service.
Even without consolidations or mergers, area fire departments are finding more ways to work together, Hoeft said. He cited as example a hazardous materials response team created in 1995 and a technical rescue team established in 2010 through the Mutual Aid Association.