Board To Consider Closing Four Fire Stations

Fire officials say they are $3 million short and need to close four stations, including one in Clayton.

Because a proposed parcel tax increase failed to be approved by two-thirds of the voters in November, fire officials say they must close four fire stations, including one in Clayton, to stay solvent. 

In a report to the county Board of Supervisors, fire chief Daryl Louder said that the 2008 recession caused deep reductions in property tax revenue, which primarily funds the fire district. Service levels were maintained until now through the spending of reserves.

To make up for the loss of property tax money, the fire district proposed a $75 parcel tax in November. Despite major political endorsements and a big push from the fire district, Measure Q received a majority of votes, but not the two-thirds super majority it needed to pass.

And now “the reserve funds have been expended and the district can no longer afford to maintain current service levels,” Louder said in his report to the board.

Louder said the fire district is already falling short of meeting expected service levels and response times, and the closure of additional stations will only make matters worse. But the move will save the district $3 million, which he says it otherwise does not have.

The four stations proposed to be shuttered are:

  • Fire Station #4 – 700 Hawthorne Drive, Walnut Creek
  • Fire Station #11 – 6500 Center Avenue, Clayton
  • Fire Station #12 – 1240 Shell Avenue, Martinez
  • Fire Station #16 – 4007 Los Arabis Avenue, Lafayette

The four stations are slated to close in early January. Louder said he plans to take some actions, including using the reserve force to provide coverage for closed stations, increasing the number of emergency medical technicians during peak hours, and other efficiencies.

But Louder makes it clear that none of these steps will make up for the presence of the stations in these neighborhoods.

Louder will meet with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday at 1:30 in the board chambers, 651 Pine St.

What are your thoughts about this? Tell us in the comments. 

Dave Woodruff December 01, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I agree with Sean. Anyone looked at their personal property tax bill lately.? By the way, where does Ron buy his coffee? LOL $75 a month!!
Randy H December 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Good. Work a real 40 hour a week job and stay out of Safeway buying your groceries for the dinner you have to cook. Earn the respect of the community and not through fearmongering. Besides, their battlecry is usually Save the Foundation!
Lawrence Robertson December 02, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Speaking as an old fireman, These two day a week heros earn a lot more than they get. If you see them sitting around, feel lucky. It's when you can't see any way out and one of them touches your shoulder and says "Its OK, we got it" Our home over our theater caught fire. 53 firemen, 5 trucks and 3 News Trucks later they stopped it before it got to the auditoriums. They saved our home and Livelihood. I put out two home fires before the trucks arrived. One was across the street and one was down the block. I ran to both and was able to put out the fire. We take your life seriously even if you don't.
Quick Facts December 03, 2012 at 08:10 AM
Sean lives in a dream world obviously, Con Fire is one of the thinest staffed departments in the Bay Area. You sound like you have an axe to grind with the firefighters. By the tone of your post, you are either a TEA Party wacko or you couldn't pass the psych test to get on the fire department. Either way you wouldn't be able to hack the 56 hour work week, running calls at all hours of the day and night, picking up people with feces and urine all over themselves, risking your life for people like you that spit in the faces of firefighters. The people voted and now they are not happy with what the minority (47%) voted for. Con Fire will live within its means, and the result will be cutting stations, services, and staffing. There are no other options for funding until RDA Money and Property Tax money rebound.
Quick Facts December 03, 2012 at 08:19 AM
So I am clear, are you suggesting that Firefighters should not eat while they are working their 24 hour shifts? All meals and food are paid for by the firefighters and not by the department. Firefighters are NOT fear mongering, the details of these closures came from the administration and not the firefighters. The firefighters just work for the department, and in no way shape of form make any decisions regarding staffing of stations or equipment. Firefighting is a dangerous job, and in most instances Con Fire will make an agressive interior attack on a structure fire if life or property can be saved. If the building is fully engulfed, the mission turns to saving your neighbors home(s). Firefighters are public servants, not public door mats! It is not appropriate to insult, defame, or degrade firefighters for issues that are clearly out of their control. I would encourage you to get educated about the different fire departments in Contra Costa County by reading this document: http://www.contracostalafco.org/municipal_service_reviews/fire_and_emergency_medical_services/CoCo%20Fire%20MSR%20Master%20-%20FINAL.pdf


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