Report: Calif. Needs 14 More Stations


San Diego County needs 14 more fire stations, according to a new report commissioned by the County Board of Supervisors.

"It's the first time the San Diego region has had a blueprint for the future," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who initiated the $300,000 study by Citygate Associates of Sacramento that examined the county's needs when it comes to fire protection and emergency medical services.

"The report concludes that we are really doing better than people think we are," said Jacob. "But we have a long way to go yet.

The 14 new fire stations the report recommended would include two in Oceanside, one near Rancho Santa Fe, 10 in the city of San Diego and one in Santee.

The three North County stations would cost nearly $20 million to build and $5.4 million a year to staff and operate. The other 11 would cost $72 million to build and $20 million a year to operate.

"I don't think it's news that the city of San Diego needs fire stations," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Javier Mainar. "What people need to understand is that there simply isn't any money and no one I know of is building fire stations. We're going to need to make a plan to do so in the future.

The report concluded there are no coverage gaps in the East County backcountry. It also made recommendations about consolidating dispatch services. Supervisor Ron Roberts said cooperating and integrating services countywide is a key element of the report. "All the cities and the rural areas really working together as a team, as one unit," said Roberts.

The report concluded that the changes will take five to seven years as local governments recover from the economic downturn.

Copyright 2010 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.