The town of Jupiter’s decision to create its own fire department is raising questions from the firefighter’s union, local retired firefighters, and residents.
Currently, the Town of Jupiter has allocated $11.4 million to the creation of its own fire-rescue department, rather than using Palm Beach County as they always have. However, projections show the startup costs for a new, local department, including equipment and new fire stations, are expected to be around $68 million.
Since their vote, opposition to the proposal has organized and been vocal at Town Council meetings over the last few months. They have also created a petition to make the issue a ballot issue, which the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections said received enough signatures in November.
The new department is set to open on October 1, 2026, and is currently starting the search for a chief and three additional employees.
All the money used to hire and find these employees along with starting the department will come from the town’s unrestricted general fund which means residents are paying for it. But finances are not the only concern to many.
There have been discussions about having enough manpower to respond to service calls since the department will be much smaller. Additionally, pay is expected to be lower than Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s and could create problems for finding people with experience.
Residents can learn more about new developments and attend Town Council meetings posted on the Town’s website: www.jupiter.fl.us