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Fire station ‘brown-outs’ take effect

As of Saturday, the number of fire engine companies at 13 of San Diego’s 47 fire stations was reduced on a rotating basis, as part of budget cuts recently adopted by the City Council.

The affected stations include one in University City and one in Pacific Beach.

No fire stations will be closed as a result of the “rolling brown-

outs,” but fire stations with multiple crews will be reduced to a single crew and their engines will be idled, according to a five-page plan released by the city.

Up to eight fire engines will be taken out of service each day. The

firefighters that typically staff those engines will be used to fill in for others who are absent from duty.

The plan will save the city about $11.5 million due to a reduction in

overtime.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald said last month the plan could mean it will

take longer for first responders to arrive at an emergency.

“These engine closures represent an additional 13 percent reduction in

available fire crews and equipment,” Emerald said. “We are patching the budget deficit by cutting public safety services. We should all be concerned about this.”

According to Emerald, 22 fire stations in San Diego already fall short

of a national standard for response times.

The brown-outs were included in Mayor Jerry Sanders’ recent plan to

close a $179 million budget shortfall. The City Council approved the budget cuts in December.

The impacted San Diego Fire-Rescue Department stations are:

  • Station 1, downtown, 1222 First Ave.;
  • Station 4, downtown, 404 Eighth Ave.;
  • Station 10, College Area, 4605 62nd St.;
  • Station 11, Golden Hill, 945 25th St.;
  • Station 12, Lincoln Park, 4964 Imperial Ave.;
  • Station 14, North Park, 4011 32nd St.;
  • Station 20, Midway, 3305 Kemper St.;
  • Station 21, Pacific Beach, 750 Grand Ave.;
  • Station 28, Kearny Mesa, 3880 Kearny Villa Road;
  • Station 29, San Ysidro, 198 W. San Ysidro Blvd.;
  • Station 35, University City, 4285 Eastgate Mall;
  • Station 40, Rancho Penasquitos, 13393 Salmon River Road; and
  • Station 44, Mira Mesa, 10011 Black Mountain Road.