City of Bellingham, Fire District 8 begin discussion of regional fire authority

New RFA planning committee meets July 17

July 12, 2017 - by Bill Hewett, Assistant Fire Chief

City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Fire District 8 officials met for the first time June 26 to begin discussing creation of a Regional Fire Authority (RFA). The formation of a planning committee is the first official step for the two organizations to start the planning process.

The RFA planning committee includes three elected officials from each organization. Mayor Kelli Linville, Councilmember Terry Bornemann, and Councilmember Michael Lilliquist represent the City of Bellingham.  Fire Commissioners Roger Busswell, David Lehmann, and Rob Neher represent Whatcom County Fire District 8. 

The planning committee will be meeting regularly over the next several months to determine the feasibility of a regional fire protection authority and develop a service plan.  This plan would outline what fire services should be provided, how the RFA should be governed, and how the RFA should be funded. If a plan is developed, it would be submitted to the full City Council and Board of Fire Commissioners for consideration to be placed on a ballot for the voters to approve.

The next planning committee meeting is on July 17, 2017 at 2 p.m. in the Mayor's Board Room at City Hall (210 Lottie St.).  These meetings are open to the public.  For additional information about the potential Regional Fire Authority, check out the planning committee website at

Media Contact

​Bill Hewett, Assistant Fire Chief
Bellingham Fire Department

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