Burien/Normandy Park Fire Chief Marrs Takes Over As N. Highline Fire Chief
An emergency services contract between the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department and the North Highline Fire Department was signed by an April 1 deadline, Fire Chief Mike Marrs reported to the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council last week.
Marrs, who is chief of the Burien/Normandy Park department, now serves as North Highline chief as well.
The new contract â€œis a win-win for both Fire Districts 2 (Burien/Normandy Park) and 11 (North Highline),â€ he said. â€œIt provides a seamless delivery of services back and forthâ€ between the two departments.
â€œThatâ€™s the way it will be for another two years at least,â€ Marrs said.
A separate professional services contract, which includes training, is still being negotiated. But, he added, â€œweâ€™re trying to work it out â€¦ [and] expect it will be signed later this year.â€
Marrs stressed the most important factor is â€œthat we deliver really good serviceâ€ throughout the two fire districts.
While â€œ40 percent of old North Highline is now in the city of Burien â€¦ I have a vested interest that things are going well up here,â€ he said.
He told unincorporated area council members that â€œI meet with them [Fire District 11 battalion chiefs] at least once a week. Iâ€™m here because I care.â€
While there is â€œno chief in name, in function that duty is spread between the three battalion chiefs,â€ Marrs added.
Declining property tax revenues, a shrinking service area due to the annexation by Burien of southern North Highline, and the retirement in February of Fire District 11 Chief Scott LaVielle have left the North Highline department in a state of flux.
Yet the department still provides essential fire and aid services to North Burien and the remaining unincorporated area. The two contracts will ensure a continued cooperative relationship, including mutual response, between them, with Marrs having overall supervision of department functions as chief.