The city of Chula Vista is touting the success of Measure A and the firefighters the measure helped hire.
According to Chula Vista Fire Department Chief Jim Geering, the city hired 12 firefighters in 2018 with money promised by the measure that raised the sales tax in the city by half of a cent.
With the added help, response times are down and the city is already looking at more firefighters in the future.
“We’re doing exactly what we promised to do. We’ve increased staffing,” Chief Geering said.
For years, CVFD has operated its fire engines with three people on each rig. Geering said those crews were only able to get to fires in less than 10 minutes 48.5 percent of the time.
Less than three months later with four firefighters now on each engine, that percentage increased to 73 percent.
The city said a four-person firefighting crew can deploy a hose at a fire in two-and-a-half minutes. The same task takes three firefighters six minutes, the city said.
“That’s a heck of a difference,” Geering said. “These are all because of Measure A.”
However, Russ Hall, vocal opponent to Measure A, said the increase wasn’t necessary and says the city should have done a better job of managing its budget.
Chula Vista voters approved the measure last June by about a 5 percent margin.
“It’s always good news when there’s more money, more funding for public safety and especially firefighters,” Geering said.