On June 5, 2012; the District’s Parcel Tax (Measure S) was rejected by the voters within the District. Due to the sharp decline in property taxes since 2008, the District has been operating by relying on its reserves, which are now nearly depleted. State law requires the District to adopt a preliminary 2012/2013 fiscal year budget by June 30. A balanced budget will require the District to provide a service based on the projected revenue for the 2012/2013 fiscal year. The projected revenue will require significant changes be made to the District’s operational structure.
While all three staffing models will work within the District’s projected revenue, staff recommended the Three-Station Model to provide a fully staffed three personnel Engine Company to respond to emergencies within the District. This model provides the best service model for the District as well as the safety for our District and Firefighters. At Monday night’s meeting every single firefighting professional recommended the Three-Station Model stating that it would provide the optimal operating efficiencies and offer the greatest level of safety to both the public and firefighters.
In support of the Three-Station Model Chief Louder of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District sent a letter:
“A study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on staffing levels and crew performance indicates that a 3-person crew is up to 30% more effective than a 2-person crew when performing critical fire ground tasks such as search and rescue, hose advancement, ventilation, etc. A study by San Diego State University on the staffing levels for a wildland fire attack indicated that it took a 2-person crew 31% longer to advance a hose line compared to a 3-person crew.
As a partner in the regional automatic aid system, I would encourage you to adopt the 3-person staffing model recommended by Chief Henderson. This staffing model provides a standardized staffing model for all or our response units, enhances safety and firefighter accountability, and improves tactical performance.”
In selecting any of the options District and response times are projected to increase. The District will need to make major changes in its responses, priorities to calls, and the use of auto-aid.
1. The response plan would be modified for the number of units responding to an incident. For example vehicle accidents are currently two engines and a Battalion Chief.
2. Non-emergency calls would not be responded to until a District engine was available and would not be responded to with auto or mutual aid to reduce the impact outside agencies.
3. No move-up/station coverage; in other words, if all the engines are covering calls certain areas may not have any coverage until the engine is done with the call.
4. Auto-aid would only be used for emergency calls.
At the end of the evening the 9 member Board of Directors voted 5-4 in favor of the Three-Station Model providing a fully staffed three personnel Engine Company.
The stations to remain open are:
Station 93 – 530 O’Hara Ave, Oakley
Station 52 – 201 John Muir Parkway, Brentwood
Station 59 – 1685 Bixler Road, Discovery Bay