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Improving fire protection in Ingham County by working closer together

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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Several Ingham County communities have taken a step toward creating a regional fire department.

Lansing, East Lansing and four other communities signed an agreement to begin implementing the first phase of the “Shared Services” plan.

Randall Talifarro is Lansing and East Lansing’s fire chief. He says getting local fire departments to work more closely together will improve fire protection to nearly 300 thousand Ingham County residents.

“We can be quicker. We can do our job far more efficiently and effectively,” says Talifarro.

Talifarro expects it will take one year to set consistent standards and procedures among the half-dozen fire departments. He says that will help the communities better coordinate their mutual needs.

The plan may not ultimately result in a regional fire system.  If it does, it could take up to a decade to happen.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.