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Fire Districts Eye New Station Potential

A potential consolidation of Station 43 in Orinda and Station 16 in West Lafayette is on tonight's agenda of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District.

With fire stations coming and going, the fire coverage area of Orinda and Lafayette can be seen as a vast, hilly checkerboard.

Officials from two local fire districts are looking over the checkerboard in discussions on a consolidation plan. They hope to maintain service and keep operational costs down. 

On the agenda of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District board's meeting tonight (Wednesday) is discussion of service levels, financial impacts and community concerns if MOFD were to consolidate the service areas of Station 43, on Via Las Cruces in the Orinda hills, with ConFire Station 16 on Los Arabis Drive in West Lafayette.

The latter station was closed last month by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, which shuttered several stations in the wake of the November failure of a parcel tax to achieve a two-thirds passage rate.

A memo by MOFD Chief Randy Bradley for tonight's meeting notes that the consolidation of these two service areas goes back to 1999, when there was discussion of a concept of a consolidated station on El Nido Ranch Road near the Orinda-Lafayette city boundary. Bradley said ConFire Chief Daryl Louder in January approached MOFD about the possibility of a partnership in combining the two fire stations.

Staff has identified three for-sale properties that might accommodate a new fire station.

Bradley's memo (see PDF attached to this article) contains an analysis of service and finances based on

  • The station would be staffed with one three-person paramedic engine company.
  • The purchase of land and construction of the station would be equally funded by each agency.
  • The annual operations of the station would be equally funded.

The Moraga-Orinda Fire District Board of Directors meets at 7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) at the Moraga Library Community Room, 1500 St. Mary's Road, Moraga.

Dive Turn Work February 07, 2013 at 06:36 AM
If it can be proven -with hard numbers- that this would save money, go for it. We need whatever solutions it takes to save money.
Chris Nicholson February 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM
This is a false dilemma--we have other alternatives. How about a jointly-funded medical-emergency-only station staffed by non-union contract workers? That would save even MORE money AND address the heart of the issue: response times a bit less than optimal. Still plenty of big red fire engines around in the EXTREMELY remote event that there is a life threatening residential fire where a couple of minutes make a difference.
Bailey Lee February 07, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Non-union contract workers? Not a snowball's chance in hell, unfortunately.
Ruth Helsel February 07, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Where would Confire get the $$$s? Parcel tax rejected by voters led to permanent closure of 4 stations. District capital plan for 2012 -2013 is $0. Now there's $$ to build a new one? Wonder how the residents near the other 3 stations feel. Wonder how voters feel.
Thomas Wiggins February 11, 2013 at 06:44 PM
History shows they will ask for more and more money forever, piss it away when they get it and then scream bloody murder and we have to close fire stations when they run out and the voters refuse a new parcel tax for them. The schools play the same game, Listen to your residents and homeowners folks we have had enough of incompetence in government and are demanding accountability and more careful spending of our tax dollars, just because a few of you want it and want to make a name for yourself in the community does not mean we need it or want it. No taxation without qualified and intelligent representation. Any body in office that can;t understand that or deal with it please go get a REAL JOB.

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