Very sad news today as the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD) has closed three of its stations and reduced two stations to part-time as a result of voters rejecting Measure Q. In the past, ConFire Chief Daryl Louder has said the decision on which stations would close was based on best serving the entire district.
County supervisors voted unanimously to close the stations last month after voters soundly rejected Measure Q, the fire district’s temporary $75 annual property tax that would have raised about $17 million per year, enough to keep all 28 fire stations open.
The closed stations include:
- Station 4 in South Walnut Creek
- Station 16 in Lafayette
- Station 12 in the Mountain View area of Martinez
- Station 22 of Concord and Station 11 out of Clayton, will share a crew
Like in East County, I’d expect residents serviced by CONFIRE to see an increase in response times due to reduced service levels—remember, in East Contra Costa, we have experienced about a minute increase in response times. The big closure from East Contra Costa standpoint is the Clayton Station which helps out on Morgan Territory Road area which should be the biggest impacted from our view in East County should there be an emergency.
This whole thing stinks as public safety should be the top priority to voters but instead the phony rhetoric put out by the Contra Costa Times and Contra Costa Taxpayers Association will ultimately cost lives, cost people their homes, and increase pain for folks seeking services in an emergency. The lies and misinformation put out makes me angry and you should feel the same way because the public deserved an honest debate—not be attacked over an entirely different debate that didn’t apply to Measure Q. Next time, lets hope voters look past rhetoric and focus on facts.
Here is a statement from Vince Wells, Fire Captain/Paramedic, Local 1230 President on today’s closures.
As of 0800 this morning, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD) has closed 3 fire stations and has reduced two of them to part time stations shared by one crew. The closed stations include Station 4 in South Walnut Creek, Station 16 in Lafayette, and Station 12 in the Mountain View area of Martinez. Station 22 of Concord and Station 11 out of Clayton, will share a crew. The plan is that Station 22 will staff Station 11 during the hours of 2:00PM to 8:00PM Monday through Saturday, 11 will be closed on Sundays.
Since 2008, the CCCFPD has decreased from staffing 30 engine companies 24 hours a day, down to 24 engines. These closures have decreased the daily staffing levels of having 90 firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, down to 72. This service reduction is the result of the significant loss of revenue to the Fire District due to the decrease in property tax revenue. In an effort to replace the revenue lost, the Fire District placed Measure Q on the ballot. This was a $75.00 a year parcel tax that would expire in 7 years. Despite our efforts to get the message out of what the results of its failure would be, the measure failed. It received a majority vote, but the 2/3’rds threshold required for a parcel tax was not met.
The impact of these service reductions will result in longer response times and a decrease in resources in the case of multiple incidents or any major emergency event.
We fire fighters will continue to provide the best services possible under these circumstances. We have worked with the Fire District to come up with ways to minimize the impacts on our ability to provide quality service to the communities we have sworn to protect, and will continue to do so. We are hopeful that the economy will continue to improve and that we will be able to re-open these fire stations sometime in the near future.
Vince Wells, Fire Captain/Paramedic, Local 1230 President