JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has officially taken over fire and emergency services for Jacksonville Beach.
The merger had been in the works for months, starting when it was approved by the Jacksonville Beach City Council in May, and then the Jacksonville City Council in September.
As part of the transfer, a new Advanced Life Support Rescue Unit will be put into service at the South Beach Parkway fire station. That unit will double the number of rescues assigned to Jacksonville Beach.
The consolidation was designed to standardize the quality of service, reduce duplication of services and speed up response time. It has been met with mixed reactions. Some people worried the move could actually make response times longer.
But those who support the move said it would mean better staffing inside the stations, cutting down on firefighter fatigue and more opportunities for promotion and better training.