MARTINEZ, CALIF. – The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors yesterday, acting as the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Board of Directors, received an overview of the recently-completed Fire District Annexation Feasibility Study from consultant AP Triton.
Yesterday’s presentation culminates similar presentations to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) and Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District (RHFPD) governing boards last week. Each fire district board now has the responsibility to consider the findings and recommendations and make their individual determinations for the correct courses of action for the communities their organization serves.
Fire chiefs from the three cooperating fire agencies entered into the study in order to assess the financial and operational viability of annexations that might lead to more efficient, effective, and better-integrated fire and emergency services across the communities of Contra Costa County currently served by each district.
“This is an exciting day for ECCFPD and the residents of East Contra Costa County, said Supervisor Diane Burgis. Our actions today, and the decision by the ECCFPD governing board to continue to work with Con Fire is a long-awaited opportunity to form a regional sustainable solution to providing the level of fire service that our communities need and deserve.”
“Last year, along with our fire partners East Contra Costa Fire and Rodeo-Hercules Fire, we initiated an important feasibility study to determine the potential benefits of annexing either, or both, of these districts into Con Fire,” said Lewis Broschard, fire chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “These possible annexations have long been informally considered and this formal study, presented to our Board of Directors this week for their consideration and action, now gives us hard data to base decisions on relative to providing improved fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to much of the county.”
“With the acceptance of the AP Triton Study, the annexation discussions between East Contra Costa Fire and Con Fire are one step closer to approval,” said Brian Helmick, fire chief, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. “The next step in this process will be for our staff to work with Con Fire staff to create a draft resolution for the boards to consider for approval at their regular scheduled August board meetings.”
Helmick added, “Our fire board and staff thank the Con Fire board and staff for the continued effort and collaboration through this discussion.”
“The Fire Board’s acceptance of the feasibility study report is an important step in the county’s move to more effective fire and emergency services,” said Fire Chief Bryan Craig, Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District. “Their understanding of the long-term needs of our communities will be instrumental in the eventual adoption of this important initiative.”
The feasibility study was co-sponsored by Contra Costa Fire Protection District, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, and Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District. It was undertaken late last year in an effort by the participating fire jurisdictions to examine the feasibility of combining two, or all three, fire agencies.
In its 200-plus pages and associated appendices, the feasibility study lays out the case for the consolidation of the three fire jurisdictions addressed. Chief among its findings and recommendations is that East Contra Costa, Rodeo-Hercules, and Con Fire should move forward with annexation, based on its analysis citing annexation would increase both the effectiveness and efficiency of the service delivery system and efficiency of the administrative functions.
Other recommendations included that the three districts should adopt substantially similar resolutions initiating the reorganization and that the agencies coordinate with the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Committee (LAFCo) prior to consideration of the reorganization application.
Additional feasibility study recommendations were that standardized training programs specific to special team response be developed as part of any annexation actions. Also, the agencies should develop a balanced training program across all agencies, determining a training philosophy and standardized program that meets the communities’ needs.
As the individual fire boards of directors take up discussions and possible actions on the study’s findings and recommendations, each organization is conducting a variety of public outreach and comment activities for its residents.
For more on each of these, visit the following links:
- Contra Costa County Fire Protection District — https://www.cccfpd.org/annexation
- East Contra Costa Fire Protection District — https://www.eccfpd.org/
- Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District — https://www.rhfd.org/annexation-study/
Press Release issued by Officer of Supervisor Diane Burgis