During the upcoming ECCFPD Board meeting, the Board will receive a plan of implementation for reopening previously closed stations which staff is recommending Station 94 in Knightsen and Station 54 (downtown Brentwood) be the first to re-open.
Here is the Staff Report:
On August 29, 2012 the Board approved Resolution 2012–13 accepting a Federal Emergency Management Agency (SAFER) Grant in the amount of $7,809,480 to increase staffing for 24 months.
The District will start receiving funding from FEMA’s SAFER Grant on November 18, 2012. Staff is currently working three separate processes to hire personnel to meet the grant requirements:
- The first process is rehiring ECCFPD personnel that were laid off effective July 1, 2012. Currently there are seven safety personnel that have agreed to return to work. Of the 15 personnel that were laid off, five have been hired by Santa Clara County FPD and one was hired by Santa Maria FPD.
- The second process for hiring is outreach to California firefighters that have been laid off. This list is known as the “California Displaced Firefighters list”. The firefighters on this list have until October 10, 2012 to file an application with the District. The District also sent letters to our laid-off reserve firefighters.
- The third process for hiring will be open testing. The District will be recruiting for firefighters in the month of October. It’s anticipated that the open testing process will take approximately 3 months to complete an eligibility list and these recruits will be hired sometime after the first of the year.
On July 1, 2012 the District was forced to close three stations. Since that time, the District has experienced increased response times in the northeast portion of the District, especially in the Bethel Island area. Currently, the District does not have living quarters to reopen the Bethel Island Station. However, District staff has been meeting with Shea Homes in the Summer Lakes/Cypress Lakes housing development regarding obtaining temporary housing possibilities to cover the northeast portion of the District. Staff is continuing to work with Shea Homes for housing alternatives that would help address the increased response times by providing adequate fire personnel in that area.
Prior to the closure of fire stations in July of this year, the District had been leasing a 12 X 60 modular home that was placed behind the station. This temporary housing was put in place in the spring of 2008 after water damaged the roof of the fire station. As the district attempted repairs to the fire station, the building was condemned by risk management after positive testing for asbestos and mold. The district was also stymied by having to meet the current flood control standards for the building. The original estimates to repair the station and meet flood control standards were approximately $1 million.
Due to the issues related to the Bethel Island Station, staff recommends the SAFER Grant funds be used towards opening the following stations, as personnel are hired, in groups of nine employees;
- 1st – Station 94 in Knightsen
- 2nd – Station 54 in downtown Brentwood