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City of Alameda Threatens More Cuts to Fire and Emergency Services

Today we received this press release (below) from Alameda firefighters IAFF Local 689. Alameda’s firefighters have been out of contract with the City since January 2008.

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALAMEDA FIREFIGHTERS

The City of Alameda has informed the Alameda Firefighters Association that effective July 1, 2009, the City intends to further reduce the level of service to the community. These reductions will compromise the safety and security of residents, businesses and visitors to the City of Alameda.

According to the city, service levels could be reduced to just 21 Firefighters on duty daily and only four Fire Engines, one Fire Truck, and three Ambulances. This is a significant reduction from the historic level of 27 firefighters on duty daily and five Fire Engines, two Fire Trucks and three Ambulances.

The City of Alameda can tolerate NO cuts to street level Fire and Emergency services. Since the beginning of “Brownouts” on January 26, 2009, hundreds of calls have been impacted, and without intervention, that number is likely to double. A number of recent incidents have already caused the City to modify its original plan of “Brownouts” because they did not work.

Details of the city’s new cuts include the continued closure of Station 5 and Engine 5, and the “browning out” of Truck 1. Station 5 and Engine 5 are first responders for Alameda Point and the Coast Guard housing and may be called on to provide personnel and equipment throughout the city.

Truck 1, stationed at Park St. and Encinal Ave., provides the first response for an aerial ladder, tools, rescue equipment and personnel to Central Alameda, the East End of town and to Bay Farm. With Truck 1 out of service, residents and businesses in those areas can expect long delays for a Fire Truck to arrive in an emergency.

Just yesterday, (June 21) Alameda was without any available Fire and Emergency response units for over 15 minutes with all companies busy on responses. An AMR ambulance had to come from Hayward to transport a patient, as well as an ambulance from Albany FD.

On Wednesday afternoon June 17, 2009, with all but one AFD companies busy with a house fire, a medical call for a cardiac problem received a response with only an AFD Ambulance handling the call.

The firefighters are committed to the safety of the community and for their safety on the job, and have taken a vote of “No Confidence” in Fire Chief Dave Kapler and have asked for his immediate resignation.

For more information please visit www.savealamedafirehouses.com.

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