San Diego

Board Passes New San Diego County Fire Plan

As San Diego heads into the dangerous fall fire season, the county approved a new plan that firefighters said will help them get the job done safely.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the San Diego County Fire Strategic Plan on Tuesday morning at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.

The plan -- which spans five years, from 2020 to 2025 -- cited internal research from the last several years that gave insight on how the San Diego County Fire Authority purchased equipment and finalized its budget.

“Historically, we have bought equipment with grants and one-time funds, we do have a recommendation that we need to convert that over to permanent ongoing funding- but we have never not gotten what we need for fire apparatus,” said Cal Fire San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the formation of the San Diego County Fire Authority in 2008, a group that works to improve fire and emergency medical services across the county.

Over the last decade, the Fire Authority has grown from a garage and bake sale funded infrastructure with volunteer fire stations to employing career staff and paramedics at every station, Mecham said.

“What the county has done in 10 years, I don't know anyone else in the country who has built a fire department as fast as they have in San Diego County. I think it's something we are really proud of,” Mecham said.

To avoid the catastrophic nature of those 2003 and 2007 wildfires, Mecham said the 2020-2025 plan includes four strategic goals:

  1. Employee Health and professional development
  2. Exceptional Emergency Services
  3. Resilient Communities
  4. Organizational Excellence and Fiscal Sustainability

“It will guide where we spend our money and what type of programs we take on in the future,” said Mecham.

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