A cooperative agreement between the Towns of Prosper and Little Elm will result in fire and emergency medical service coverage for residents of the two fast-growing communities as they continue to build up their capabilities, says Prosper Fire Chief Ronnie Tucker.
“This agreement is not unprecedented, but it is certainly out of the ordinary,” he said. “The excellent relationship we enjoy with Little Elm makes it work.”
The Town Councils of both communities have agreed to share the new fire station being built on Prosper’s west side, splitting the responsibilities of fire coverage and EMS service for the service area that straddles the two municipalities.
In addition to covering neighborhoods in west Prosper, the Prosper Town Council has agreed to provide fire service to those neighborhoods in Little Elm closest to Prosper. And, conversely, The Little Elm Town Council has agreed to provide a fully-staffed and equipped emergency medical service unit to provide EMS service to the same areas in both communities.
The Prosper fire truck and Little Elm EMS unit will use Prosper Fire Station No. 2 as their base of operation. Number 2, sometimes referred to as the Windsong Ranch station, is scheduled to go into service in late summer.
Little Elm Fire Chief Brian Roach says the arrangement is a perfect fit for his department. “We are in the initial stages of building our own fire station to service the Hwy 380 corridor area,” he said. “This agreement gives us the time to we need without any lapses in service.”
The two Chiefs are in agreement on the most important aspect of the cooperative venture – continuous, uninterrupted service to residents in both communities.
“We have the confidence in our Little Elm colleagues, and they have a similar level of confidence in us,” said Chief Tucker. “That puts our relationship on solid ground.” Tucker has led the Prosper Fire Department for almost 20 years, while Roach was named Chief in Little Elm this year.
The two-year agreement is designed to overlap the completion of Little Elm’s Fire Station No. 3, set for late-2017 or early-2018. Once that occurs, Prosper will replace the visiting crew with its own EMS unit and Little Elm will add a fire truck to its inventory.
The agreement spells out the particulars on costs, reimbursements and responsibilities. Over the two-year life of the agreement, the projected savings for Prosper is approximately $440,000 per year, as well as a cost avoidance of about $300,000 for the purchase of the EMS unit.