Fire department takes on more services

Coinciding with the city of Elk River’s new organizational structure, two existing city services — the building safety and code enforcement divisions — have moved under the auspices of the fire department. In addition to the organizational change, the fire marshal and fire prevention offices have been relocated to the city hall campus.

“There are many synergies between building safety, fire inspections and code enforcement,” said Fire Chief T. John Cunningham. “This change will foster greater collaboration among staff, enable the sharing of resources and personnel, and provide our residents and businesses with enhanced customer service by bringing together all inspection and code enforcement services.”

The fire and building safety division, under the direction of the building official, will oversee all building, fire and rental inspections. The division’s new title reflects the fire department’s commitment to ensuring that Elk River is a safe place to live and work, for residents and business owners alike.

“By consolidating fire and building inspections, we will be able to fully utilize the talent and expertise of our staff to enhance our fire inspection program,” Cunningham said. The fire department will begin cross training its inspectors to assist with completing fire inspections throughout the city.

“The best fire is the one that is prevented. The fire and building safety division is committed to helping keep our community safe through education, inspections and enforcement,” he said.

The fire department’s code enforcement division is tasked with helping ensure that Elk River remains an attractable and enjoyable place to live and work. The code enforcement division can assist residents and businesses with code compliance questions and complaints.

Both the fire and building safety and code enforcement divisions are located at City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, and are staffed during normal business hours. The number for the fire and building safety division is 763-635-1060. The code enforcement inspector can be contacted at 763-635-1067.

Through a task force composed of elected officials, city staff, firefighters and other agencies, the fire department is also in the process of completing a strategic plan.