For Immediate Release
June 21, 2013
Stan Maupin, Deputy Chief
Redwood City Fire Department
Redwood City Considering Agreement for Full Fire Service to San Carlos
Redwood City, CA - Since October, 2011, the City of Redwood City has provided management and administrative support for the San Carlos Fire Department through a "shared services agreement" which has resulted in cost savings for both cities. Last summer, the two cities began negotiating an amendment to that contract to expand it into a "full service agreement" that will offer strengthened service delivery, greater efficiency and cost savings, and a model for a more regional fire service operation. Both the City Council of Redwood City and the City Council of San Carlos will consider this amendment at their respective public meetings on Monday, June 24, 2013.
If approved by both cities, the amendment will allow the City of Redwood City to provide full fire and emergency services at a practical cost to the City of San Carlos, while also producing cost savings and potentially additional revenue for Redwood City. In addition to the economic benefits for both cities, pursuing this model of combined or regionalized services is aligned with the Redwood City City Council's strategic initiative of "Effective Government Operations." Further, it will serve as a positive demonstration of the value and benefits of such a service delivery model, which other agencies in the region or the state may use as a guideline in their own consolidation and efficiency efforts.
The amended agreement, which would have a term of July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2018, will implement the transfer of programs, costs, and personnel from the San Carlos Fire Department to the Redwood City Fire Department. The full service model includes Fire Administration Services, Command and Operational Services, Fire Prevention, Code Enforcement, and Fire Investigation Services, Emergency Preparedness Services, and Training Services.
For Redwood City's provision of full fire and emergency services, it's estimated that San Carlos will pay $5.6 million in the first year of the agreement. San Carlos will retain full ownership of its two fire stations, capital equipment, and their fleet, which will remain "branded" as San Carlos Fire Department. San Carlos will follow Redwood City's capital equipment and fleet replacement programs to ensure consistency, safety, and operability. A key component of the full service model is the transfer of existing safety personnel (fire captains, firefighters, and firefighter/paramedics) from the City of San Carlos to the City of Redwood City. Redwood City will be solely responsible for hiring, salary, benefits, workers compensation, and insurance for all fire personnel.
This agreement also offers the potential for a fire station consolidation and associated cost savings between the two cities, as both have stations which need replacement in any case. The cities are studying that possibility for San Carlos Fire Station 16 and Redwood City Fire Station 12. In addition, there may be an opportunity for having to assume emergency response for San Mateo County's Station 18, which would offer potential revenue to both cities.
The shared services relationship between San Carlos and Redwood City has been very positive to date, with no degradation in service delivery and great acceptance by each community. Expanding this relationship offers further benefits to both cities. More details about the proposed amendment for full fire and emergency services are available in the staff reports on both San Carlos' and Redwood City's websites.
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