Eugene-Springfield Fire merger complete

      EUGENE, Ore. - The fire departments of Eugene and Springfield officially merge operations as of Monday.

      The creation of Eugene-Springfield Fire started about 7 years ago.

      Springfield's assistant city manager said it made sense to consolidate their functions.

      "There were a series of retirements," said Jeff Towery. "Chief Murphy was retiring for the City of Springfield and their were folks retiring from both Eugene and Springfield, and it just so happened that those positions just matched up nicely."

      By eliminating some of the vacanies and administrative overhead, Fire Chief Randy Groves said there are cost savings opportunities.

      "We just got more capacity when we're on the scene, whether its fire or medical emergency," Towery said. "We're seeing quicker response time, we're seeing reduced overhead costs to administration and consolidated a number of positions."