On this episode, I chat with Vince Wells, President of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230. We touch on a variety of topics from Measure X, to the possibility of consolidation of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District to Contra Costa County Fire, the dynamics of what is going on with the City of Oakley and how the City of Brentwood is exploring working on a funding mechanism for the District.
- 00:30 – Introduction of Vince Wells
- 02:15 – We jump into Contra Costa Measure X, a 0.5% sales tax which would invest in fire and paramedic services across the county, keep a regional hospital open, connect residents to essential food, housing and other safety nets to the county and community resources. It would also help fund critical services for children and seniors. Wells explains why the Firefighters are supporting Measure X which could help all 12 fire agencies across the county.
- 08:37 – We talk about Measure X and Consolidation. What this does for potential consolidation between Contra Costa County Fire, Rodeo-Hercules, and East Contra Costa Fire. Wells shares his vision.
- 15:33 – We discuss what consolidation would do to auto aid between the borders between the City Antioch, City of Brentwood and City of Oakley. We get into how different fire departments have different policies on responses. I ask if Chief Brian Helmick was justified in his policy of exterior fire attack and no inside fire attack to save homes.
- 28:58 – Wells says movement on consolidation will come by February. If Measure X fails, a revenue enhancement tax by ECCFPD will need to be voted on.
- 29:27 – We get into the disagreement between East Contra Costa Fire and the City of Oakley. We get into the rumored CFD’s that Oakley has created, we talk about Station 55 and the agreement. We also get into the bizarre statement issued by Mayor Kevin Romick. He talks about how Bryan Montgomery believes Oakley doesn’t have a fire issue due to auto aid with Antioch engines being close to Oakley.
- 36:50 – We jump into the City of Brentwood and what they are trying to do in providing funding to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District to enhance fire service. We get into the Brentwood 9212 Report and this idea of giving money without sustainability.
- 45:15 – Wells provides an update on the possibility of City of Antioch getting a 5th fire station. We also talk abut how busy Battalion 8 is (City of Antioch, City of Pittsburg and Bay Point). Wells further highlights the homeless fires have jumped to 60% of all vegetation fires.
- 48:42 – We chat about arson and the job that fire investigators are doing. They have been moved to “on shift” because of the call volume.
- 51:08 – We close on the importance of Measure X and the impact across all of Contra Costa County. I would argue this measure got lost in the political rhetoric both national and local.
- 01:01:13 – Final thoughts
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If you would like to be a potential guest, email email@example.com and explain why… this show is open to anyone in Contra Costa County.