East Contra Costa County Fire Stations Shuttered Despite Drought - NBC Bay Area
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East Contra Costa County Fire Stations Shuttered Despite Drought

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    NEWSLETTERS

    At a time when most fire departments are staffing up for the peak of fire season, one Bay Area county is actually closing stations. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Monday, May 11, 2015)

    With the fourth straight year of drought upon us, many fire officials are gearing up for another bad year, but one part of the Bay Area is scaling back its fire protection.

    Starting Monday, East Contra Costa County has just three fire stations to protect 250 miles. Only nine firefighters will be on duty at any given time. Folks in Knightsen say it's a sad day. The area's only fire station closed its doors Monday morning after residents failed to approve a $100-a-year benefit assessment last month that would have generated $4.2 million a year for fire protection and kept two of East Contra Costa County's five fire stations from closing.

    With the Knightsen station and a Brentwood firehouse now shuttered, firefighters say, not only will they not be able to save houses, they may not get to medical calls in time.

    “We were stretched thin before the closures,” said East Contra Costa Fire Captain Gil Guerrero. “Now we're doing something that can't be done.”

    That’s scary for residents who live in the region. Tom Sanders loves his East Contra Costa County home but now worries his family is at-risk should an emergency take place.

    “If something happened to myself or wife, I would want them here right away,” Sanders said. “Now with the stations closing, we're not going to have that.”

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