Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

It’s time to trim our fire crews

By
From page A16 | March 03, 2013 |

The issue: Money-saving change will not jeopardize public safety

Davis City Council members will resume their discussion of proposed money-saving changes at the Davis Fire Department on Tuesday evening. And while all eyes will be on results coming in from the Measure I election on the surface water project, we hope the council will give plenty of serious attention to these necessary changes.

AN EXTENSIVE AUDIT prepared last fall by then-Interim Fire Chief Scott Kenley makes several recommendations, among them a modification of the city’s response-time goal, a shared-management plan with the UC Davis Fire Department and a possible service boundary drop between the city and the university.

All three of those suggestions got a green light from the council, passing in late January with relatively little controversy. But a decision on a recommendation to revert to three-person fire crews won’t be quite as easy.

City leaders approved four-person fire crews in 1999 after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its “two-in, two-out” mandate for firefighters in emergency situations. But that was long before the country’s economic downturn, and critics say the fire staffing levels are no longer compatible with Davis’ financial reality.

Under Kenley’s recommendation, the Fire Department’s daily staffing levels would go from 12 firefighters to 11, with three-person engine crews at the downtown, West Davis and South Davis fire stations, as well as a two-person crew on a rescue unit assigned to the Fifth Street headquarters. Estimated savings: $360,000 per year.

Typically dispatched in tandem with a fire engine, the rescue vehicle could be designated a stand-alone unit and could respond to incidents with the West and South Davis fire engines if needed, Kenley suggests.

BUT MEMBERS of Davis Firefighters Local 3494 have opposed the reduction, saying it would increase safety risks to firefighters and damage to burning structures if fire crews, waiting for backup to arrive, are delayed in making their initial attack on a blaze.

They have taken their case to the public, knocking on doors and speaking with neighborhood groups in an effort to drum up residents’ support.

“When it comes to public safety, $300,000 is not a significant amount of money,” Bobby Weist, a fire captain and president of the firefighters’ union, told The Enterprise.

We’re all for public safety, of course, but the savings are important as well. The three-person fire staffing model works quite well in Woodland, Vacaville, Roseville, Chico, Fairfield and Napa, and it can work for Davis, too — especially because we have another fire department in our back yard, on the UCD campus.

Our City Council needs to heed Kenley’s advice and make the switch.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8