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BOS Considering Reducing Auto Aid to East County

Steve Barr, Brentwood’s vice-mayor, alerted me to today’s Agenda Item at the Board of Supervisors Meeting where they will consider reducing auto aid to East County Fire Protection District, a move that would be very damaging to the service levels to East County.

If last week was any indication that auto aid is needed, although it’s a long shot, I would hope the Board of Supervisors reject staff recommendation and select Option 1 to ensure services remain the same.

Option 2 may be the recommendation, but it’s a non-starter if you ask me! While I get their first responsibility is to Contra Costa County Fire, they also need to find a solution to ensure protection of East County as well.

My best guess and gut is telling me that Option 2 will ultimately prevail which will be a disaster for East County.

Meeting Info:

Board Chambers Room 107
Administration Building
651 Pine Street
Martinez, CA 04553

Call to order: 2:00 pm.

BACKGROUND:

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD) participates in an automatic aid agreement with the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD). Under the automatic aid agreement, the closest resource (unit) from either of the participating agencies responds to an incident.

On June 5th, voters rejected a special tax measure for the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. As a result of this action, the ECCFPD was forced to close three fire stations and contract to a three station service delivery model. The reduction of fire stations will limit the capacity of resources available in East County. This will have an operational impact of longer response times and less capacity for serious or multiple incidents. Longer response times and fewer resources equate to a greater safety risk for the public and our personnel. Additionally, there is potential for a greater reliance on CCCFPD resources to supplement ECCFPD when serious or multiple incidents occur.

In an effort to protect the interests of residents served by the CCCFPD and continue to be good partners in the automatic aid system, the District has explored a number of options to minimize the adverse impact of station closures by ECCFPD. These include:

Option #1: Operations would remain status quo and CCCFPD would continue to provide full resources to the automatic aid system. This is significantly more resources than ECCFPD is able to provide to CCCFPD. Additionally, this option has the potential to deplete critical resources that are necessary to protect Antioch, Pittsburg, and Bay Point.

Option #2: Reduce our automatic aid agreement to reflect “like resources.” Under this option, CCCFPD would provide up to three units under the automatic aid agreement with ECCFPD. ECCFPD may request additional units through a mutual aid request and they will be provided if units are available. Additionally, CCCFPD would no longer respond to non-emergency or low priority service calls or provide routine area coverage if the ECCFPD units are committed.

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District staff recommends that the Board of Directors select Option #2. This option ensures that there is equitable distribution of resources between all participating agencies. The goal is to protect the interests of residents served by the CCCFPD and continue to be good partners in the automatic aid system.

Agenda Item

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Categorised in: Board of Supervisors, ECCFPD

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