At 8:00 am this morning, Station 54 in Downtown Brentwood reopened for service as Captain Craig Auzenne radioed in to dispatch alerting them they were staffed with three.
Although there is much work to be done to convince the public of a future revenue enhancement, this morning was all smiles and filled with joy.
“It’s a step in the right direction and I thank the chief and command staff for their hard work getting the SAFER Grant. I want to remind the community this is only a short term solution without further permanent funding for the district,” said ECCFPD Board President and Brentwood Vice Mayor Joel Bryant.
Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor joked he was happy this station was re-opened because it was close to his home. Later, he shared how important this is for the community and what it means for emergency response coverage.
“I think it’s a red letter day versus a red flag day,” said Mayor Taylor.
Meanwhile, Fire Chief Hugh Henderson stated to KPIX news that its been a rough year.
“The hardest time in my career was 10-months ago in closing stations.” Said Chief Henderson. “It’s taken a lot of effort to get this to happen today and it’s something for the community.”
Battalion Chief Brian Helmick shared that today was tribute to months of hard work by the entire District at all levels from writing the SAFER Grant, to the Board, to the firefighters themselves. Everybody chipped in while we had station closures.
“It’s a good day because guys are going into the stations and not out,” said Helmick.
The SAFEER Grant will allow Station 54 (Downtown Brentwood) and Station 94 (Knightsen) to remain open through November 2014. Prior to that, the Board will begin working on a revenue enhancement of some sort after labor negotiations with Local 1230 is complete.
Vince Wells, President of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230 made the trip because it was an important day for the District and he was there when the Station closed last year.
“It’s a great day and a perfect time for this station to open as its looking like it will be a busy fire season,” said Wells, “Station 54 will help us respond to calls and improve response times while putting more firefighters to work.
Here are photos from this mornings opening.