Pinole's Fire Service Model and Station 74

Fire Service Model and Station 74

Fires Station 74 Reopening
On November 9, 2022, the Contra Costa County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) unanimously approved the application for the fire service contract between the City of Pinole and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire).

This partnership enables the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD, “Con Fire”) to provide full operation of fire services in the City of Pinole, including the operation of both Fire Station 73 and Fire Station 74. 

Station 74 timeline

FAQs

Will the City continue to have its own Fire Department?
Under the proposed arrangement, the City of Pinole would no longer have a City of Pinole Fire Department. Rather, emergency medical and fire protection services would be provided in Pinole by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD, “Con Fire”). Con Fire would operate both Fire Station 73 (in downtown Pinole) and Fire Station 74 (in Pinole Valley). Residents, businesses, and visitors of Pinole would enjoy a higher level of emergency medical and fire protection services under the proposed arrangement than they do currently. Con Fire currently provides these services in most cities in Contra Costa County, including San Pablo, Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg, and Danville. In the future, if the City and Con Fire terminated the agreement, the City would need to reinstitute a City of Pinole Fire Department.

When will Station 74 reopen?

We anticipate Pinole Fire Station 74 reopening under Con Fire’s superintendence in late winter/early spring (March or April) of 2023.

Is the City firing all its firefighters?
All sworn uniformed personnel, with the exception of the Fire Chief, will become Con Fire employees upon the changeover which is anticipated for late winter/early spring (March or April) of 2023.

Is the City giving away its stations (buildings) and all equipment?
The City will continue to own Station 73 and Station 74. Con Fire will lease the buildings to house their personnel and equipment to provide fire protection service to Pinole for a nominal amount. With regard to fire apparatus (fire engines, command vehicles, etc.), the contract costing includes an annual amount which goes toward apparatus replacement. The current Pinole fire apparatus and equipment will be transferred to Con Fire upon changeover with consideration given to its value in the apparatus replacement calculation.

Do the firefighters support this contract?
As a represented labor entity, the firefighters support this contract. IAFF Local 1230, the labor group which represents both the Pinole and Con Fire employees, submitted a letter of consent for the contract as part of the application process with the County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) which oversees these matters. Local 1230 was also a key stakeholder in securing County Measure X funding, $2 million of which is allocated annually toward this contract.

How much would it cost the City to reopen Station 74 on its own vs. contracting with Con Fire?
According to the independent fiscal analysis commissioned by the City, it would have cost $8,665,357 in FY 2023-24 for the City to operate both Station 73 and Station 74 as opposed to $6,107,445 to operate both Station 73 and Station 74 under contract with Con Fire. It is also noteworthy that it was anticipated to cost $6,363,316 in FY 2023-24 for the City to operate Station 73 alone.
  

Background

For most of its history, the City of Pinole has operated just one fire station (Station 73). The City briefly operated a second fire station (Station 74), from 2003 until 2011. The second station was closed due to lack of funding. Since the closure of Station 74, the City has explored different options for reopening the station or otherwise expanding fire protection and emergency medical services.

In November 2020, Contra Costa County voters approved Measure X, a half-cent countywide sales tax expected to generate approximately $100 million annually. In November 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved various appropriations of Measure X revenues, including $2 million to help reopen Pinole’s Fire Station 74.

Con Fire has proposed to operate both Stations 73 and 74 on the City’s behalf, funded by the $2 million from Measure X and City funds currently appropriated to the Pinole Fire Department.

Per State law, in order for Con Fire to provide fire protection services for Pinole, Con Fire must receive approval from the Contra Costa County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), and Con Fire’s governing board (the Board of Supervisors) and the City Council must approve an agreement.

The Pinole City Council has directed City staff to work with Con Fire staff to develop a potential agreement. City staff will present a draft agreement at a special City Council meeting, that will be held in a community workshop format, on September 13, 2022.

The City’s Fire Chief, the County Executive Fire Chiefs, the County Board of Supervisors, and the labor group representing Con Fire’s and Pinole Fire Department’s firefighters (IAFF Local 1230) all support the proposed agreement in principle.

Proposed Contract

Firefighters cutting a car         Controlled burning

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