Fire chief says brown-outs cutting into response times

By James R. Riffel
City News Service

Firefighters are taking longer to arrive at emergencies since staffing cuts were instituted nearly a year ago, fire Chief
Javier Mainar told a City Council committee Wednesday.

Mainar said the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department aims to match the national standard  for responding to house fire — getting a crew of 15 firefighters to a blaze in nine minutes 90 percent of the time — but he told the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee that firefighters were now hitting the mark only 69 percent of the time.

In the Midway district, Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos, response times have recently been running more than 11 minutes, according to Fire-Rescue statistics.

Mainar cautioned that average response times in San Diego are typically lower than the national standard — around eight minutes — but that averages can be misleading because some spots are farther from fire stations than others.

Downtown has the fastest response times, averaging a little more than five minutes, Mainar said. In North Park, response times are average about six minutes.

Staffing cutbacks aimed at saving $11.5 million in the current fiscal year were instituted in February. As many as eight fire engines are taken out of service each day on a rotating basis to reduce costs.

“I think we’re making a serious mistake by not putting engines back on the street, and we’re putting public safety at risk,” Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who heads the committee, said.

The city’s chief financial officer, Mary Lewis, said Mayor Jerry Sanders would consider allowing the fire department to return to previous levels at the start of the fiscal year, July 1.

Restoring fire department staffing to previous levels now would cost about $4.8 million, according to the mayor’s office.

Related posts:

  1. City votes to maintain current minimum fire station staffing policy
  2. San Diego fire chief foresees more station brownouts
  3. UCSD conference looks at ways to teach diversity
  4. Council committee wants 24/7 ban on alcohol at Kate Sessions Park
  5. Comic-Con to stay in San Diego for next five years, at least

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=34119

Posted by Kathy Day on Jan 27, 2011. 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

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • VA System Working with Local Providers to Reduce Wait Times July 28, 2014
    By Joseph Franz Wait times at the VA has been a common headline lately. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has come under fire as tens of thousands of veterans nationwide have been waiting three months or more to get their first VA medical appointment. This has caused dozens of investigations and led Veterans Affairs […]
  • Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders July 28, 2014
    After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking. Passionate about making […]
  • Del Mar Union School District approves new contract for superintendent July 28, 2014
    The Del Mar Union School District Board July 23 approved the new contract for Superintendent Holly McClurg through June 30, 2018. Per the contract, McClurg’s annual salary will be $185,000 with an annual doctoral stipend of $10,000. She will receive a car allowance of $400 a month, 25 vacation days, health benefits and a retirement contribution of $700 a mon […]