MARTINEZ (CBS SF/BCN) — Fire officials announced Monday that the Contra Costa Fire Protection District will annex the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.

Each district’s board of directors approved the move, which now must be submitted to the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for formal approval.

READ MORE: 'Survivor' Contestant Michelle Yi Describes Frightening Santa Monica Assault

The move will bring 128,000 residents of East Contra Costa under the purview of the larger district. The move is expected to take four to six months, followed by the operational and administerial consolidation of the two districts.

“I am so excited and proud of the teamwork that has brought us to this point,” Diane Burgis, the District 3 supervisor on the county Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “With the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors acting as the Con Fire board unanimously approving the request to formally apply for annexation of ECCFPD, and the ECCFPD board voting unanimously to move forward, we are a giant step closer to providing improved fire and rescue services in East Contra Costa County.”

READ MORE: COVID: Oakland Unified Sets January Deadline For Students 12 And Up To Be Fully Vaccinated

The move is expected to help what ECCFPD Board President Brian Oftedal said has historically been an underfunded district.

“Annexation will improve response times, open fire stations, and provide a paramedic level of service for our communities,” Oftedal said in a statement.

MORE NEWS: Fantasy Football Start Or Sit Week 8: Can Kirk Cousins Put Up Points On The Cowboys Defense?

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.