Home Brentwood #85: East Contra Costa Fire Chief Brian Helmick Talks Reduction of Fire Services

#85: East Contra Costa Fire Chief Brian Helmick Talks Reduction of Fire Services

by ECT

On this episode, I chat with East Contra Costa Fire Protection District Fire Chief Brian Helmick who discusses his recent announcement that Starting July 1, the Fire District will only send firefighters inside a burning building if human life is at risk. This is due to severe under-funding, the District has been forced to take new, urgent measures to maintain its extremely limited operations and keep firefighters safe.

The local fire agency serves Brentwood and Oakley Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron, Marsh Creek, and Morgan Territory

Episode Overview:

  • 02:18 – Helmick provides an overview of the issue with finances the District is facing. He gets into how funding in 1970’s was fine, but nothing over the past few decades has been done to increase funding such as assessments or community service districts. Needs to work with existing residents to correct the error of the past.
  • 06:04 – Helmick explains what Wednesdays announcement means to the general public in terms of cancelling public outreach and defensive fire attack on structure fires.
  • 09:54 – ECCFPD has become a defensive fire attack district. Helmick explains scenarios and goes into depth on what could occur.
  • 15:00 – In a hypothetical, if ECCFPD engines are on calls, is Contra Costa County Fire Engines of the City of Antioch rolling into ECCFPD District? How is auto aid going to work? Impact being subsidized by CONFIRE and what it does to CONFIRE resources.
  • 25:26 – How does rehab work after a fire or major incident?
  • 26:29 – We get into Brentwood 9212 Report and how Brentwood accepted and filed it. Helmick explains his position on the ECV proposal.
  • 30:13 – We get into why fire services cannot get turned on and off based on money coming in or out. We get into the flaw of the 9212 Report. Helmick explains three criteria’s when seeking funding.
  • 34:19 – I get into why I do not agree with ECV Plan or where they are headed.
  • 40:38 – How do we get from 3 stations to 6 stations and eventually get to 9 stations? Is the debate now asking residents for 2 or 3 stations? In November, that discussion will begin. Some people will never want a new tax.
  • 49:35 – PTSD and suicide with firefighters and living with not being able to save people.
  • 52:28 – Helmick speaks on educating and making people aware of the fire district issues.  We have 100 miles of waterways. District does not even have paramedics on rigs, trucks or boat. Explains the dire situation
  • 57:52 – Final thoughts by Chief Helmick.

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Brad Cooper Jun 15, 2020 - 2:26 pm

With idiots setting off fireworks this early and God only knows what will happen as Independence Day gets closer and closer, fire are starting already. Now, there is talk of reducing fire fighting services? That’s outrageous!

fred scott Jun 15, 2020 - 3:42 pm

I should be able to reduce my taxes since will be getting less services.

Fed up Jun 15, 2020 - 7:38 pm

Always start with fire services and teachers, not the F’n bullet train, California sucks!

David Pritchett Jun 15, 2020 - 10:08 pm

I understand the risk fire fighters take when going into a burning building. My question is if the building is a residential building, how do you know or not know that there is human life in the building if you are not willing or allowed to go into the building?

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