Video: Sunday Conversation With East Contra Costa Fire Chief Brian Helmick


On this episode, a sit down with East Contra Costa Fire Protection District Chief Brian Helmick to cover a variety of hot topics facing the district.

Helmick, who was named chief four-months ago, has been working through the transition to set up the District for future success while working on the retention issue that has plagued the District with lack of job security for new hires.

Here is a breakdown of topics during the interview:

  • 00:32.00 – How is it being fire chief?
  • 01:00.00 – What is the biggest challenge?
  • 02:33.00 – What has it been like since closing the Knightsen fire station
  • 08:15.00 – Was closing Knightsen the hardest thing you have had to do as chief to date?
  • 10:42.00 – Response Times
  • 18:10.00 – How does one train for a situation that is always different?
  • 20:19.00 – Potential funding options for future revenue… options presented to the district? A process on finding the right plan.
  • 30:45.00 – Volunteers firefighters
  • 39:20.00 – Contract negotiations and firefighter pay after station closure?



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The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) is a rural funded fire district that protects approximately 249 square miles and over 114,000 residents. The district provides firefighting personnel and emergency medical services (basic life support) to the residents and businesses of the City of Brentwood, and Oakley, and to the Township of Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron, Marsh Creek, and Morgan Territory.

As of July 1, 2017, ECCFPD has three (3) fire stations staffed by three (3) firefighters, for a total district staffing of nine (9) firefighters per day, The district responds to over 6,900 calls a year that depend on approximately 9,000 fire engine responses. ECCFPD’s Master Plan, calls for nine (9) stations to adequately provide coverage to the District’s citizens and businesses.



  1. Great interview. I wish the chief the best. I think he needs to work with all the different options. Support them all. I get the feeling we will see another tax request of some kind. Which is fine until it gets voted down again for the fourth time. Educate the people all you want, I believe people don’t care. Show the voters that all tax collection agencies are truly public servants and come to the table to help the ECCFPD. Then voters might be willing to increase taxes for increased services. But right now it seems all ECCFPD wants to do for the fourth time is put it on the tax payer to fix the problems of the past. REALLOCATION is the only answer to fix the problem. Then a tax increase might be welcomed for increased services. WISH YOUNTHE BEST CHIEF!! I really do. Please look at the facts.

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