Several months ago, the City Council approved the start of a feasibility study with Los Angeles County Fire that explores the option of utilizing the county for fire services.
Now that a few months have passed, the county’s feasibility study is ready. It’s important to note that this is a preliminary study conducted on behalf of Los Angeles County, so some of these figures – such as holistic costs and liabilities – aren’t detailed enough to be compared against the City’s current fire budget.
Should the City Council wish to proceed further, they may request a paid evaluation that would allow Los Angeles County Fire to detail the City’s facilities, equipment and vehicles to determine a more comprehensive cost of converting to the county.
For now, here are several general points, outlined through fire coverage, benefits, costs, and financial requirements, per the county report:
Some broad points: Los Angeles County is providing two staffing options, with a difference in paramedic staffing coverage:
For comparison, here is the City’s current staffing levels:
Dispatch would be handled by Los Angeles County’s Fire Command and Control Facility, and fire hydrant inspections would be handled by Los Angeles County Fire annually.
Los Angeles County Fire does not provide ambulance transportation to local hospitals. Instead, patients are transported using a private ambulance service under contract with the Department of Health Services. Los Angeles County Fire personnel would accompany the patient in the ambulance if needed for patient care. For comparison, the City currently handles ambulance service and collects revenue from the service directly.
Finally, internal City emergency management, programs and responsibilities would remain with the City
According to the report, the City would benefit from the county’s regional and specialized resources. Since Los Angeles County Fire is a significantly larger agency, the City would have quicker access to specialized fire resources. At the moment, San Gabriel uses several mutual aid agreements that provide specialty service on an as-needed basis. The City also has agreements with the Verdugo Fire Communications alongside ambulance auto aid agreements with Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, Arcadia, San Marino and Monterey Park.