City council directs staff to start negotiations with South Metro Fire Rescue

Littleton Fire Rescue Truck

Littleton City Manager Mark Relph has notified South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) Chief Bob Baker that the city wants to pursue an agreement with SMFR to provide fire and emergency medical services for the City of Littleton. The Littleton City Council discussed the issue at its December 5 meeting and provided direction to Relph to begin negotiations.

The decision comes following 18 months of discussions between the city and its fire partners on the future of Littleton Fire Rescue (LFR). The City of Littleton, the Highlands Ranch Metropolitan District (HRMD), and the Littleton Fire Protection District (LFPD) which encompasses areas east and west of the Littleton city limits, have partnered for decades to provide these services to their over 220,000 combined residents in a 92-square mile area. This partnership originated in 1948 with LFPD and LFR, with the HRMD joining in 1984.

On November 17, the LFPD Board voted to unify with SMFR effective January 1, 2019 and the HRMD followed with a similar vote on November 21. The partners previously agreed to move 911 dispatch operations to SMFR, which became effective December 31, 2017.

“The provision of fire and emergency services is changing,” Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman said. “We have seen fire agencies in Colorado and throughout the country merge to take advantage of the economies of scale. I understand why our partners are moving to South Metro. It offers a degree of financial stability, quality service, and predictable governance. For the safety of our citizens and our fire personnel, it makes sense that the City of Littleton joins this unification with South Metro.”

LFR was initially approached by SMFR in August of 2016 and since then there have been dozens of study sessions and joint meetings. In the letter to Baker, Relph said, “The pursuit of inclusion into your district by our fire partners presents a good opportunity to discuss how all entities may best serve the long-term interests of our citizens.”