PENDLETON -- Three fire departments in Eastern Oregon are considering a consolidation to share the load for emergency services, including medical calls.
Officials at the Hermiston Fire District told the East Oregonian newspaper they are looking at joining forces with the Umatilla and Stanfield fire departments.
Officials say the move is partly because baby boomers are reaching retirement age and the demand for ambulance services is rising.
But all three fire departments say that's putting a strain on them, especially if a full crew is out responding to a medical emergency and the agency also must deal with a fire.
One solution would be to hire more paramedics. But the fire departments say ambulance services do not bring in enough revenue to make that possible.