Report: East Contra Costa communities are in peril because Fire Protection District lacks funding to keep them safe

Monday, July 10, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) released the following statement today regarding a recent Contra Costa County civil grand jury report that found the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District is unable to meet national standards for response times to the communities it serves because of a chronic funding shortfall.

“The grand jury report confirms what we already know: East Contra Costa Fire Protection District is failing to meet basic response time standards for emergency calls.  The reason for this is obvious: Because of an ongoing funding crisis, ECCFPD has had to close five of its eight stations.

The grand jury report found that in 2016 the average response time for emergency service calls was 8:03 minutes, far longer than the national standard of 5 to 6 minutes – potentially costing lives. Response times ranged from 14:24 minutes for Bethel Island to 7:04 minutes for Oakley.

Since the grand jury report’s release, ECCFPD has closed Knightsen Station 94, lengthening response times even further. Now there are only three stations covering the entire district.

In addition, ECCFPD Chief Brian Helmick has cited firefighter turnover, lack of essential maintenance and the inability to replace equipment as ongoing issues that continue to erode the district’s ability to operate effectively.

We can no longer accept a situation that puts lives and properties at risk and raises homeowners’ insurance rates. I am continuing to seek legislative solutions in Sacramento to resolve this crisis. AB 898, which I introduced earlier this year, seeks to reallocate $10.5 million from the East Bay Regional Park District to properly fund ECCFPD. If passed, this bill – without raising any taxes – will provide the funds necessary to reopen closed fire stations and bring emergency medical and fire services back to acceptable levels.”

To register support for AB 898, go to Assemblymember Frazier’s website, www.asmdc.org/frazier, click on the “Contact Jim” button on the upper right and select “AB 898” as the issue, or call his districts office at (925) 513-0411 or (707) 399-3011.

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove. To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at www.asmdc.org/frazier or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow Assemblymember Jim Frazier on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.