According to the newest Operational Report, ECCFPD response times have increased by 36-seconds since the July 1 station closures in Bethel Island, Brentwood and Knightsen while servicing 546 calls.
Response times for July averaged 7:10 minutes while the responses times for the month of June with six stations averaged 6:34 minutes. For the first six months of the year, the average response times have been 6:24 for a total of 3,162 calls.
What is unclear in the staff report is how often engines are not servicing their own areas (home bases). For example, how often is the Discovery Bay engine in Brentwood or Bethel Island and vice versa. It is also unclear of whether or not the increased response times has had a negative impact on certain calls.
For example, Gill Guerrero’s provided a before and after scenario to the Board of Supervisors. He explained that before station closures (in Brentwood), fire crews were able to get to a building within a minute and saved a life. At essentially the same location after the closure, it took five minutes and they were unable to save a life.
It would be interesting to know if there were other similar cases.
Auto Aid was another interesting topic within the report because CONFIRE is our luxury item right now while serving as our lifeline. Looking at the numbers, there is no way CONFIRE will keep this up and ensure engines are in East County without a return of the favor. I expect a reduction in the coming months–especially after November depending on the outcome of their parcel tax measure.
According to the report, in the month of July ECCFPD received auto aid from CONFIRE 49 times with them sending 64 units. The District sent auto aid to Contra Costa County Fire just 16 times providing them with 18 units.
When you compare this to the prior month, CONFIRE came into the District 25 times with 31 units and ECCFPD responded in to Contra Costa County Fire 28 times with 34 units—essentially they increased support service while we reduced ours.
The first six months of the year, the District has received auto aid from Contra Costa County Fire 155 times with 201 units. The District has responded to Contra Costa County Fire 100 times with a total of 117 units.
Via the Operational Report
Looking at the response times for closed stations;
- Station 54-downtown Brentwood, had 112 calls in the month of July with an average response time of 6.56 minutes. In June there were a total of 119 calls with an average response time of 5.22 minutes. For the six the first six months of the year there were 675 calls with an average response time of 5.23 minutes.
- Station 94- Knightsen, had 18 calls in the month of July with an average response time of 11.15 minutes. In June there were a total of 14 calls with an average response time of 10.10 minutes. For the first six months of the year there were 71 calls with an average response time of 8.05 minutes.
- Station 95-Bethel Island had 26 calls in the month of July with an average response time of 10.32 minutes. In the month of June there were 28 calls with an average response time of 5.34 minutes. For the first six months of the year there were 574 calls with an average response time of 7.01 minutes.
NOTE: The month of June had the best average response times for the station in the past two years. It appeared that most of the calls were within a mile of the station.
In the month of July there were four significant fires;
- On July 4, 2012 about 10:24 PM there was a three-acre vegetation fire in the 1300 block of Tuolumme Way in Oakley. This incident was handled with a total of 3 engines and 2 Chief Officers. One of the 3 engines was from Contra Costa County Fire. The total duration of the incident was 4 hours and 30 minutes.
- On July 5, 2012 about 4:18 PM there was a 4 acre vegetation fire with a threat to structures in the 100 block of Sims Road in Brentwood. This fire consumed fences behind 11 structures. The incident was handled with 9 engines and 3 Chief Officers. Five of the 9 pieces of equipment on scene where from Contra Costa County Fire along with a Chief Officer. The total duration for the incident was 3 hours and 9 minutes.
- On July 5, 2012 about 7:27 PM there was a 1 acre vegetation fire that spread into a boat storage yard. The embers from the fire also started two roof fires on adjacent properties. This was a two alarm incident with most of the second alarm units being cancelled prior to arrival. This incident was handled with 6 engines and 3 Chief Officers on scene. There were 3 engines from Contra Costa County Fire along with a Chief Officer. Total duration of the incident was 2 hours and 39 minutes.
- On July 22 about 1:47 PM there was a two alarm structure fire in the 2700 block Of Mariner Road in Oakley. The fire started as a dryer fire that extended into the common walls of two condominiums. The incident was handled with 8 engines and 3 Chief Officers. Five of the 8 engines were from Contra Costa fire along with a Chief Officer. The total duration of the incident was 3 hours and 46 minutes.
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER)
In February of this year, the District applied for the 2011/2012 fiscal year Safer grant. This grant request was for 21 personnel to get all six of our stations fully staffed with three personnel. This grant was valued at 3.4 million a year for two years.
On July 19, 2012, the District received word from FEMA that we were denied for the grant. FEMA cited an increased number of applicants with less money to fund grants as the reason our grant request was denied.
The 2012/2013 Safer grants cycle has opened and the District will be applying to FEMA once again for additional personnel. These grant applications close on August 10, 2012, with the grants being awarded prior to the first of the year.
You can view the full board packet by visiting the ECCFPD website