Seeing that the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) had a mobile fire unit training tower high on its list of needs, Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, was able to acquire $500,000 in the budget process to help pay for the centerpiece of ECCFPD’s training regimen.
Early this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 109 by the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, a bill that makes technical amendments to the Budget Act of 2019, including additional funds for the ECCFPD.
“Nothing is more important than continuing training assistance for our firefighter personnel, especially in this age of devastating fires,” said Frazier.
ECCFPD funding was first established when the district was mostly rural, and it has not evolved as East County’s population has grown. The property tax allocation share has stayed at 7% of the total county funds, while need for services has grown dramatically as more people have moved to the area.
“This is fantastic news,” Brian Oftedal, President of the ECCFPD Board. “Additional funding for the fire district is a huge win for the residents and businesses in East Contra Costa. For years, our firefighters have made due with training in parking structures, abandoned houses, parking lots or wherever they could find an opportunity. Now, they will be able to have a dedicated facility within our district to maintain their firefighting, rescue and emergency medical skills.”
Currently, ECCFPD has three active fire stations with three firefighters each at any given time. The district, in partnership with the City of Oakley, is constructing a fourth fire station set to be completed in the spring of 2020 to help with fire coverage.
“Every little bit of money we can identify to improve fire service in East County will go to good use,” Frazier said. “I am pleased we could get an additional $500,000 for training for East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.”