By Patrick Walker, Vice President, CAL FIRE Firefighters Local #2881 – San Diego District
"It is my belief that the volunteer only fire station is inefficient and unable to provide adequate fire and life safety services in comparison to full time."
March 12, 2019 (Julian-Cuyamaca) -- I want to start by clarifying my comments within this editorial are not representative of CAL FIRE, but of my position as the 10th District Vice President within CAL FIRE Firefighters Local #2881, the labor organization that represents the Professional Firefighters of CAL FIRE in San Diego County.
I will begin with information about my Fire Department and Labor background, as I believe in absolute transparency. At 16 years old I began as a Fire Explorer with the San Pasqual Fire Department as well as the Ramona Fire Department. I graduated High School in Ramona, went into the US Army and upon return became a firefighter with CAL FIRE in 1997. I have worked in the counties of: San Diego, Riverside, Santa Clara, Amador and El Dorado in my 20-year employment with CAL FIRE. I have held the ranks for Volunteer Firefighter, Volunteer Fire Engine Operator, Volunteer Fire Captain, and with CAL FIRE I have worked as Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Engineer, Fire Captain and currently hold the rank of Battalion Chief working in South San Diego County. I am married with children and reside in the City of San Diego.