A consultant will evaluate if Fitchburg’s standalone fire and EMS services are the most efficient setup for the city or if a “fire-based EMS” department would be better. The Common Council approved $30,000 for the study on a 6-2 vote at its Nov. 14 meeting as an amendment to the 2017 budget. Ald. Julia Arata-Fratta (Dist. 2) had proposed the study as an amendment to the 2018 budget, but funding was available for a one-time allocation in the current year so the council opted to approve that route. The idea, which has been studied in the past, drew strong opposition in a memo from retiring Fitch-Rona EMS chief Brian Myrland.