Measure S Failure Could Mean 2 Station Model In Future

I do not know what else I can say in support of Measure S so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. For a moment, let’s say Measure S fails and hypothetically the Board selects the 3-station model for service and lays off 24-firefighters.

We are stuck with 3 stations (Brentwood, Discovery Bay and Oakley) with 27-fire personnel covering 250 square miles. There will be no move-up/station coverage which means if all the engines are covering calls then certain areas may not have any coverage until the engine is done with the call. Non-emergency calls would also not have a response until a District engine was available.

So that is what we are stuck with.

The other side of it is it’s now a blank check for AMR Ambulance Company to staff up and make more money—sorry, but it’s the truth and if I was them I’d also do it.

But let’s look past the immediate changes in services as Measure S is all about sustainability and looking at future growth while some claim other reason. Lets look down the road to how dangerous a Measure S failure truly is.

Just because Measure S fails, the discussion does not end. The board is forced into immediate cuts to ensure some form of service. But it still will have a revenue problem.

Engines break down, gas prices continue to rise, our fire personnel will be working harder and longer thus making workman’s compensation claims a potential issue.  This costs will all rise as more wear and tear is required in the new model.

So how does the District fund it when its already being forced to run lean and mean. Remember, costs of doing business never decrease, they always increase.

The only logical solution is closing another fire station and dropping down to a two-station model and more personnel cuts.  It’s common sense the money has to come from somewhere and in the future, more cuts will come.

You see, regardless of whatever bogus claim people say Measure S is,  the Measure is 100% about ensuring sustainability and planning for future growth.

Mark my words, within a couple of years their will be talk of dropping down to a two station model unless revenue is somehow increased.


About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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8 Responses to Measure S Failure Could Mean 2 Station Model In Future

  1. Bob says:

    This is the unspoken side effect the opposition to Measure S is not telling anyone.

    With revenue sources and base formulas being completely disconnected from the rising cost drivers, something has to give. The opposition is not coming right out and telling you, but they are trying to set up a situation where public employees will be expected to absorb ALL future costs increase through wage and benefit reductions. That or just an unending reduction of services.

    To put it another way; the funding models are locked in through Prop 13 formulas. Anyone who is objective can see they are flawed because they don’t properly track costs for critical services such as fire. Because police services come from the county’s general fund, it doesn’t experience this problem to the same degree. These people fully expect to pay 1970s prices for 21st century fire services. Apparently they expect this indefinitely.

    This is just another reason the opposition cannot be taken seriously. Some of their ideas are just flat out dangerous to public safety. Such as leaving engines in station to save gas used for medical calls? That’s unfathomable for it’s lack of common sense. Without saying it, the net effect is that we are supposed to accept that some people will die because the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association thinks it’s more important to save a few dollars on fuel than it is to respond with resources with the best possible odds of saving a life.

    If this measure fails watch all these aliases being used in forums do a disappearing act and Kris Hunt and the CCTPA go silent on this issue. They will want no connection or shoulder any responsibility for the fallout of a measure failure.

    Still can’t put my finger on whether these people are just not intelligent enough to see how this will play out or if they are inviting the chaos simply to further a political agenda. Clearly a few in the latter category, but I think it’s a case where most don’t comprehend the cause and effect.

    Was doing some mental math the last few days based on the no move up factor in the proposal. There will still be calls within the district that require 2 engines or more to respond. When that happens and an engine is taken outside it’s immediate area, the area is left without any fire protection. As in ZERO. So a fire in Discovery Bay that pulls the Brentwood engine leaves the entire city of 50,000 without a single engine in service.

    The scenarios that can and will play out are going to shock people. This could indeed be a case where people cannot see the damage caused until it’s too late.

  2. Jeff B says:

    I am a long way from having any kind of real fire/ems knowledge base but I have lived in a lot of places, I do get around and I do make observations. Real world observations are quite powerful problem solving tools (and no doubt scary to those who cherish the status quo).

    So this is what I know from just observing the real world…..

    Other FD’s challenged with covering a lot of sq mi and diverse areas deploy not just one staffing model…they mix it up based on specific needs/circumstances and they seem to employ more of a make it happen approach than I am reading ECCFPD will do when this new tax fails.

    With most FD calls being BLS medical (and other no danger calls, no running into burning buildings) and with everyone saying seconds count, and with AMR in the mix, and with there being plenty of fire engines, and with there being plenty of fire stations….. it would seem logical to spread the crews out to keep the BLS times to a minimum. This is definitely used in other places to get a first responder to each call ASAP for basic life support where time does matter and for starting the attack on other situations.

    I actually took the opportunity today to speak to a full time firefighter who staffs a one person station. I asked him if he felt compromised and he said no way, he felt his deployment was beneficial and could really make a difference in a range of situations. He went into some detail and I was impressed with how well thought out his situation was.

    So I know right now many sharp minds are cranking out all the reasons this can’t work in CCC. Hey try this for once….try thinking of a few reasons it could work and how under a less than optimum situation this FD could adopt customary practices successfully employed all over the country to put BLS responders in the best position to quickly respond.

    Sure, I know keeping a station open for a one person crew would incur a utility bill and maybe a captain’s wage. I bet if Bethel Island (or byron or morgan, or knighteson, or BW#2, or DB#2) could keep one person on duty in the local station by the community simply raising money to pay the utility bill… doubt it would happen within days and the little bit of money needed for utility bills would keep on flowing. And clearly taking a one person slot at standard pay is better than not having a job at all (that is if working is the real goal).

    Sooner or later both county FD’s will need to be shut down and a new one started….simple math says so, solvency can not be achieved in any other acceptable way. No way around it unless you want everyone to just start signing over their pay checks to the county. A NO VOTE will speed up the process and that is a good thing. In the mean time more creative deployments, as used in many other places, should be carefully evaluated and given a fair chance for consideration.

  3. Jeff, stop copying and pasting the same argument everywhere. I’ll delete them going forward.

  4. Bob says:

    Jeff, I had hoped the earlier request in the previous thread would sink in.

    RISK. Your “less optimum” equals added risk for a district that has been teetering for years.

    You can ignore it. I’m betting your insurance company won’t. You have asked for a sure thing on estimates of rates going up. Yet you are fine with gambling with cutting the station count in half with little more than hope that you’ll force a quote from CalFire.

    Unless you believe that CalFire could somehow do a per station cost here that is HALF what they quoted in Morgan Hill just recently, that is a pipe dream.

    The district is facing a $3.7M deficit based on maintaining a 6 station model. If you completely removed the contribution to pensions from the equation, you still don’t even get close. What you are expecting is fire fighters to take a 40% overnight pay cut. On top of massive cuts to retirement plans.

    That is unrealistic. That is unfair.

    It would be better if you cited specific examples by naming fire districts where the supposed scenarios you cite are in play. It has been my experience that those opposing the Measure have a habit of leaving out key details. If the plan is truly viable, there is no concern or fear.

    As I have said previously, we’re in the eleventh hour of a crisis situation with very bad consequences facing us. All ideas should be weighed on the merits. I would like to give yours its due, but it requires a full review of pros and cons. Not just cherry picked details.

    Since the subject of AMR continues to be brought up, you should reach out to somebody who went to the Mayor’s conference last week. The one where AMR presented and basically said their program is dependent on the fire department to respond first and basically prep for transport. This QRV deal is one they would love to see gone tomorrow. It’s not in their wheelhouse.

    Reach out to your friend Kris Hunt or even go to the official county liason at AMR. Don’t take my word for it.

    • Jeff B says:

      “a district that has been teetering for years.”

      So how does a quote like that slip by the censors employed by this forum?

      Indeed “teetering” for years while the revered BOS sat by and watched while doing nothing.

      And it will be “teetering” for years to come with even worse consequences unless the right thing is done.

      The right thing is to stop the “teetering” by shutting down both county FDs and building a new one with a comp program this county can afford. It is the only way. Former Con Fire people will take a cut, former ECCFPD not so much. It is the only way to absolute sustainability.

      I put it all on the BOS for letting it go this far. Don’t blame me for pointing out the obvious that should have been done long ago. Thanks to the BOS now it will be more painful…..but it has to happen. It is the only way.

      The longer the delay the more painful it will be.

      Sorry to bring you all back to reality.

      • Bob says:

        Tried to work with you, Jeff. But you seem to think this issue is all about you. It’s what everybody else can do to make sacrifices while you do nothing but complain it’s not being done fast enough.

        Repeating the same pie on the sky plan that makes no sense in simple math is insane. Offering no further information or support that what you want to to is even legally possible tells you you’re pulling it out of your rear end.

        You are in for a very rude awakening to reality in about 60 days if this doesn’t pass.

        The district is paring down to what it can afford. It has no choice. With reserves gone it was all spelled out Mon night. 3/3 stations or 4/2 stations. That’s what we can afford. If the measure fails the choice will be made in about 30 days. Whichever is chosen, you can expect that due to the increase in calls our station will have to pick up, plus the fact that no engine move-ups are part of either plan, that even the local areas retaining engines will have significant periods with no fire coverage. Discovery Bay will be experiencing 20-25% of any 24 hr period where we will not have an in service fire engine in the community. It will be on a call outside of the area covering Morgan Territories or Knightsen or Bethel Island who have lost theirs. Those calls still have to be covered.

        There’s your cold, hard reality.

  5. Sandbar Wino says:

    Don’t mind me, Just waiting for Jeff Barber to have his ass handed to him again.

    I love when people go “I don’t know shit from shinola on this issue but how about you waste a few minutes listening to my completely vaingloriously ludicrous viewpoint”.

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