Council Member Paul DCamp, City Administrator Tim Long, City Clerk Ron Fullerlove and George Miller, a member of the Riverdale Fire Department spent time with the leadership team of the Tipton (Iowa) Volunteer Fire Department earlier this month as part of an on-going, fact-finding effort that will inform the City’s efforts to craft a long-term strategic plan for the Riverdale Fire Department.

Council Member DCamp’s notes from the trip are quoted below:

Tipton City Visit On Tuesday, August 21st
Riverdale City Administrator Long, City Clerk Ron Fullerlove, Firefighter George Miller, and Councilman Paul DCamp visited with several members ofTipton city administration and Tipton Fire Department to discuss matters of common interest. The meeting focused on the following topics:

1) Comparison of call dispatch and the distribution of calls in versus out of district.
2) Comparison of department certifications and calls we’re equipped to handle.
3) Comparison of equipment obsolescence and replacement schedules.
4) Discussion of Riverdale’s mutual aid agreements, 28E, and possibilities of recouping costs.
5) Some discussion of utility of the 100 foot platform. There was some agreement that this equipment provides capabilities above most small cities, and would provide benefit almost exclusively to the Arconic plant, in the case of a fire event calling for its capabilities. Otherwise, the training and equipment provided is necessary to fully support residents of Riverdale.
6) Suggestions for sustainably funding Riverdale into the future:
• Make sure we cycle equipment incrementally, consistently with a regular replacement schedule.
• Work with Arconic and other major service benefactors to provide grants.
• Work with other cities in our mutual aid area to address imbalance of service vs funding.
• Possibly investigate other special arrangements with Bettendorf, or other neighboring city for maintaining and funding the Riverdale Fire Department.

What’s Next?

According to Mayor Mike Bawden, the City will continue to conduct research on how other departments operate, how charitable organizations tied to Fire Departments enhance the departments’ operations and finances, the needs of commercial and educational locations within reach of the RFD and the training standards, capabilities and resources available to the volunteers currently serving in the department.

All of the information collected will be reviewed with the leadership of the RFD and used in a collaborative planning process that will help set the long-term, future direction for the department and better define the financial and other resource needs the City will be expected to supply.

The plan is to have the plan completed by the end of the calendar year.

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