Got Your Back

Exploring fire and EMS service sharing opportunities in Franklin, Greenfield, Greendale, and Hales Corners

December 2019


In May 2012, the Wisconsin Policy Forum released a detailed analysis of possibilities for shared or consolidated fire and emergency medical services (EMS) in southern Milwaukee County. Seven years later, each of the municipalities retains independent fire and rescue departments with roughly the same responsibilities and capacity as in 2012. Some of the staffing and service-level challenges that prompted the 2012 analysis have been addressed, but others have intensified. Meanwhile, new challenges have emerged as demand for EMS services in particular has increased.

In the spring of 2019, the mayors of Greenfield and Franklin and their fire chiefs asked the Forum to update its 2012 analysis and consider anew the fire and EMS service sharing possibilities that may exist for those two communities. After subsequent discussion, it was determined that Greendale and Hales Corners also should be part of the analysis given their geographic location between the two larger cities and the fact that the four communities comprise Emergency Management Zone D in Milwaukee County.

This report lays out the results of our updated analysis. It is important to note that its purpose was not to recommend a specific service sharing or consolidation approach and implementation plan. Instead, the intent was to develop a range of potential options and to provide sufficient fiscal and programmatic analysis to allow decision-makers to determine which (if any) paths they believe are most viable for more detailed analysis and implementation. Continue reading…