firefighting cuts

SAN MIGUEL FIRE DISTRICT MOVES TO ELIMINATE FIRE ENGINES FROM DEHESA STATION

 

Labor dispute also heats up; Oct. 26 and 27 meetings set as budget woes deepen

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Residents in the Dehesa area of unincorporated El Cajon will be losing a firefighting structure engine and a wildland fire engine due starting November 1.

 

In addition, a three-man engine will be replaced by a two-man paramedic crew—a situation that the San Miguel Firefighters Association (SMFA) contends on its website is “unsafe” but that the District contends is necessary due to dwindling property tax revenues that fund firefighting services.

JOBS ON THE LINE: SAN MIGUEL FIRE VOTES TO HOLD OFF ON FIREFIGHTER LAYOFFS AMID GROWING BUDGET DEFICIT

 

“The industry standard is one firefighter for every 1,000 in population. San Miguel is currently operating with one firefighter for every 5,400 taxpayers.”  - Alan Laatsch, president,  Firefighters Local 1434
May 27, 2010 (Spring Valley) – Facing a $1.6 million deficit, San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District’s Board tonight considered a proposal to lay off three firefighters, eliminate the Administrative Division Chief position and demote several officials.  But after hearing moving testimony from firefighters, fire and accident victims, and others in the community, the Board voted unanimously to reject the recommendation and consider other options.

 

Among the most moving testimony came from Doug de Brauwere, a father with young children. “I’ll be the first firefighter to be laid off,” he testified, his voice choked with emotion. “I spent 10 years serving my country; a year and a half of that was in Iraq.”