City votes to maintain current minimum fire station staffing policy

By Joe Britton
City News Service

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a policy to maintain the current practice of requiring a minimum staffing level of four firefighters on fire engines and trucks in San Diego.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who heads the City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, said today’s vote was intended to “memorialize” state and federal firefighter staffing standards.

“We need to set, I believe, some standards going forward in these tough budget times,” Emerald said.

“We want to send a message … that one standard we don’t want to abandon is the basic minimum four-member crew standard for firefighters,” she said.

While there has not been a specific proposal to change the current required firefighter staffing levels, some officials have questioned whether moving to three-person crews would save money.

Councilman Carl DeMaio, who said he doesn’t support a change now, said that “unfortunately, given the fact we have budget constraints, I want us to really be very thoughtful in exploring all options.”

Fire officials told the City Council that having four-member fire fighting crews is critical to maintaining emergency response times and coordinating once on the scene.

“We are united in our position that four-person staffing is what is appropriate in our city,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Javier Mainar testified.

Ultimately, the decision on firefighting staffing levels is up to the mayor.

Jay Goldstone, the city’s chief operating officer, said Mayor Jerry Sanders is committed to the four-person firefighter standard.

A study on the issue, initiated by the mayor’s office, is due sometime next month.

“We are going to have a report in six weeks that might put data on the table that will change our opinion,” DeMaio said. “I doubt it will. But, absent any data to the contrary, I continue to support four-person crews.”

DeMaio said, however, he believes the city needs to look at the cost of how firefighting staff are deployed.

The SDFRD responds to more than 100,000 calls a year, most of them are for medical emergencies.

Related posts:

  1. Fire departments launch computer communications
  2. Longtime owner has been around horses since he was 10
  3. Hundreds turn out for I-5 town hall forum in Solana Beach
  4. Sunday morning quake rattles eastern part of county
  5. One killed, four injured in light plane crash in Tierrasanta

Short URL:

Posted by Halie Johnson on Nov 15, 2010. Filed under News, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]
  • Surf Academy Select BU9 win it all at Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    San Diego Surf Academy Select BU9 won it all at the Albion Cup July 19-21! After winning their Showcase division by going unbeaten all weekend, they defeated Legends FC 4-1 in the finals on Monday. This is the second year in a row this team has won the Albion Cup. […]
  • Pushing boundaries July 24, 2014
    Few issues cause parents more distress than changes in school boundaries. Who can forget the tumult when in 2002 the Del Mar Union School District moved hundreds of families from one attendance area to another? Resentment still lingers, 12 years later. The San Dieguito Union High School District created its system of boundaries nearly 18 years ago that has w […]