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The Prospect of West Lafayette's Fire Station Closing

ConFire/ county board meets Tuesday to discuss potential closure of four fire stations in wake of parcel tax rejection last month.

Lafayette's fire station 16 in Happy Valley is on the chopping block today (Tuesday) as ConFire's board of directors (that is, the county supervisors) meet.

That meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the County Administration Building, 651 Pine St., Martinez.

When the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District's parcel fire tax did not pass Nov. 6, officials began preparing the potential sites for closure. Station 16 is on Los Arabis Road in Upper Happy Valley.

"Considering that ConFire earlier this year moved all of its personnel out of that station due to mold problems and a rodent infestation, the move is not surprising," wrote Lafayette City Manager Steve Falk in his regular subscribers' email. "After the failure of Measure Q, few expected that the District would use its rapidly dwindling funds to build a new fire station in Lafayette."

Falk said that to counter the loss of service in west Lafayette expected with the Station 16 closure, ConFire Chief Daryl Louder has indicated the district would:

  • "Leverage automatic/mutual aid" from partners.
  • Use reserves to provide some coverage for closed stations.
  • Consider placing a paramedic only unit in the station during peak periods.
  • Develop a paramedic reserve or volunteer program for coverage in non-peak times.

 

Joshua Halloway December 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Milk the mutual aid feature.
Steve Cohn December 04, 2012 at 03:54 PM
What are "peak periods" for medical emergencies? Don't have that heart attack now, dear, it is not a "peak period".
Joe December 05, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I totally support the fire dept and voted yes on this parcel tax. It shocks me that it didn't pass. Anyway, since there are probably (literally) billions of dollars in net worth in the neighborhoods near the closing station, perhaps a good samaritan will step up to provide funding until local residents can pass a local improvement district tax or the equivalent?
WENDY LACK December 05, 2012 at 07:38 AM
The Chief was directed to report back on a long laundry list of items, including whether it’s possible to avert station closures by reducing staffing at each station instead. This was suggested by several speakers. It’s unfortunate that District’s finances have been so severely mismanaged over many years. County Sups failed their fiduciary responsibilities to the public when they authorized, year after year, use of reserves for operations. If the District were a business, it would be in receivership and closing its doors. This is the result of poor financial management, approval of unaffordable labor contracts, and an "we've always done it this way" organizational culture that doesn't reward innovation and change. It was nothing short of appalling when, at today's meeting, the fire union president asked the county for a financial bailout -- only days after the union filed a lawsuit against the county regarding its implementation of Jerry Brown’s anti-pension-spiking reform legislation. What nerve!

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