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The uncertain future of fire & EMS within the county | Community

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The uncertain future of fire & EMS within the county
Community, Politics
The uncertain future of fire & EMS within the county

For many years, the thirteen El Dorado County Fire Agencies including El Dorado Hills FD, Latrobe FPD, Cameron Park FD, Rescue FPD, Diamond Springs-El Dorado FPD, Pioneer FPD, Garden Valley FPD, Georgetown FPD, Mosquito FPD, El Dorado County FPD, Meeks Bay FPD, Lake Valley FPD, and Fallen Leaf FD have done an outstanding job working together in an effort to keep the nearly 181,000 Citizens of El Dorado County safe. 

These agencies strive to provide the best possible Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services to our residents through a progressive automatic and mutual aid system.  For many years several of these Fire Protection Districts have provided this service with limited budgets as a result of receiving a disproportionately small percentage of the property tax increment in a particular region.

With the downturn in the economy and subsequent property tax devaluation, many of these agencies are now severely underfunded, and without relief will be unable to provide even basic services in the near future.  Without a commitment from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to increase funding for the agencies that receive a very low percentage of the property tax increment, many of the underfunded districts have an “expiration date” sometime in the near future. 

The current funding scenario will not likely result in browning out, or closing individual stations, but rather closing entire Fire Protection Districts.  If this is allowed to happen there will be vast gaps within the County’s automatic and mutual aid system. 

These gaps will significantly increase response times, and limit the amount of personnel and equipment available each day for a response to a major incident.  With increased response times, incidents become bigger and harder to contain, and medical aid response mortality rates increase. 

To bring light to this imminent situation, and propose workable solutions, the local fire agencies formed the “Commission for Collaborative Fire Departments” which has representatives from individual Fire Departments and their associated Board of Directors. 

We will be presenting our assessment of the current situation to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on April 9th at 10:00 am.  The meeting will be held at the EDC BOS Chambers located at 330 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA. 95667

Source: El Dorado Hills Fire Department

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