header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
78°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 28
1987 - Slender-horned spineflower listed in Federal Register as endangered species [story] Slender-horned spineflower


The Los Angeles County of Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to place a measure to raise much-needed revenue for the Los Angeles County Fire Department on the upcoming March ballot. If approved by voters, the six-cent parcel tax measure will allow Los Angeles County Fire Department to hire more paramedics and firefighters, update lifesaving equipment, and meet the challenges presented by more frequent wildfires and rising 911 calls.

“Our residents have always been able to count on our LA County firefighters and paramedics in their moment of need, but now they need us,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Our firefighters are fighting bigger and more dangerous fires and our paramedics are responding to record numbers of 911 medical calls. Their budget has been stretched to the breaking point and we cannot take them for granted. This March, voters will have the opportunity to give these men and women the resources they need to do their jobs protecting communities and saving lives each and every day.”

LACoFD serves 58 of the county’s 88 cities and all of its unincorporated areas, including county beaches which make up the County’s Consolidated Fire Protection District. LACoFD is not funded through the County’s general fund. Instead, the Fire District is responsible for raising its own revenue via property taxes collected within the district. Unfortunately, the funding collected has not kept up with the Department’s growing resource needs.

“Today’s fast-moving, explosive wildfires and the rising numbers of 911 calls are really putting a strain on the hardworking men and women who are our local firefighter/paramedics,” said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. “There’s a human impact on them as we stretch to ensure the safety of our neighbors and community. We desperately need more resources to meet today’s demands. I’m grateful to the Board for placing this much-needed ballot measure before our voters.”

Over the past decade, the demand on the Department for emergency medical services has grown exponentially. Since 2008, LA County has seen an over 50 percent increase in calls for assistance in medical emergencies, such as strokes, heart attacks and car accidents. Yet, in that same time period, there has been less than a 5 percent increase in paramedic units to respond to those calls. The Fire District currently lacks the funding to meet national standard staffing levels as set by the National Fire Protection Association.

The “fire season” in LA County is growing longer and wildfires are becoming more frequent. Climate change has created drier, windier conditions which have fueled larger and more dangerous wildfires. We can no longer count on other fire departments sending firefighters to help battle our wildfires, since wildfires have been burning simultaneously up and down the state and drawing resources.

“With an extended fire season and a substantial increase in calls for emergency medical services, voters will have the opportunity to help the Fire Department address its structural deficit to ensure our first responders are fully equipped to continue providing the highest quality public safety services,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

LA County firefighters and paramedics are using decades-old equipment that needs to be replaced. 20-year-old fire engines and rescue vehicles frequently break down and are costly to repair and maintain. The Fire District’s antiquated 30-year-old 9-1-1 communications system is incompatible with modern wireless and digital systems. This poses challenges for paramedics who need to communicate directly with emergency rooms while transporting patients and to firefighters on the ground coordinating fire response and evacuations. The system does not provide GPS mapping, a critical tool to reduce response times. The department is also in need of thermal image cameras used to locate and rescue children, the elderly, and people with disabilities who are particularly vulnerable during fires, floods and earthquakes.

“When you call 911, you know help is coming. For us, this is our 911,” said LA County Firefighter/Paramedic Erin Regan. “We are asking you for this measure because our firefighters and paramedics in the field need more resources”

The measure will be placed on the March 3, 2020 ballot for voters within the fire district. Should voters approve by a two-thirds vote, the resulting parcel tax of $0.06 per square foot would collect approximately $134 million a year from residents in the Consolidated Fire Protection District. Government parcels, non-profits, and low-income seniors would be exempt from the parcel tax. The funds will be used to hire and train additional firefighters and paramedics and replace aging safety gear, communications tools, and lifesaving rescue equipment.

A May 2018 needs assessment ordered by the Board of Supervisors for the Fire District demonstrated that additional funding is urgently needed to hire and train more firefighters and paramedics to accommodate the increasing need for life-saving emergency medical services and to maintain, upgrade, and replace its safety equipment, emergency communication systems, facilities, life-saving devices, and vehicles.

The Woolsey Fire After Action Review released in October 2019 showed that mutual aid agreements with fire departments across the state failed to bring the needed resources and firefighters to fight Woolsey. Both the Camp Fire and Hill Fire began shortly before the Woolsey Fire, exhausting the fire services mutual aid system up and down the state.

The LA County Consolidated Fire District includes the cities of Agoura Hills, Artesia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Bradbury, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Covina, Cudahy, Diamond Bar, Duarte, El Monte, Gardena, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, Lakewood, La Mirada, Lancaster, La Puente, Lawndale, Lomita, Malibu, Maywood, Norwalk, Palmdale, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Dimas, Santa Clarita, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, Temple City, Walnut, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, and Whittier, and all those within the unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Monday, Sep 28, 2020
Monday, Sep 28, 2020
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has extended the current extreme heat warning for the Santa Clarita Valley through Saturday evening.
Friday, Sep 25, 2020
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday 34 new deaths and 1,401 new cases of COVID-19, with 6,048 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, while Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 24th COVID-related death to date.
Friday, Sep 25, 2020
Air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley will be unhealthy for sensitive groups/individuals Saturday, Sept. 26, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) forecast.
Friday, Sep 25, 2020
With temperatures in parts of Los Angeles County expected to rise into the triple digits, various public facilities located throughout the County, including Stevenson Ranch Library, will serve as Emergency Cooling Centers.

Keep Up With Our Facebook
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Smoke from a brush fire dubbed the Martindale Fire in Bouquet Canyon near the Bouquet Reservoir was visible from areas in the Santa Clarita Valley shortly after the blaze broke out Monday afternoon, quickly burning 200 acres and threatening structures.
‘Martindale’ Brush Fire in Bouquet Canyon, Visible from SCV, Threatens Strctures
The global COVID-19 death toll surpassed 1 million Monday afternoon, a grim milestone in a pandemic that caught much of the world unprepared for a health crisis and left economies reeling, convulsed politics and fundamentally altered the world.
World Marks Grim Milestone: 1 Million COVID-19 Deaths
SCV Water invites the community to a virtual ribbon-cutting on Monday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m., celebrating the completion of a new water treatment plant.
Oct. 5: SCV Water Treatment Plant Virtual Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Newhall resident Daniel Bradley, a Vietnam veteran and Gold Star son, had the chance to fly to Washington, D.C., to attend a reception at the White House Sunday to honor Gold Star families and their loved ones who’ve died in service.
Daniel Bradley of Newhall Honored as Gold Star Son at White House
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office reports a busy slate of production activity in the Santa Clarita Valley this week, September 28-October 4.
Busy Slate of Productions This Week in SCV
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has extended the current extreme heat warning for the Santa Clarita Valley through Saturday evening.
SCV Extreme Heat Warning Extended Through Saturday
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce on Monday announced the launch of a forum for small business owners -- the Small Business Roundtable.
SCV Chamber to Launch Monthly Roundtable for Small Business Owners
Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, advocating for the thousands of constituents still in the queue waiting for their unemployment benefits, is urging Governor Gavin Newsom to rethink a two-week pause on new EDD claims.
Unemployment: Wilk Urges Governor to Hit ‘Start,’ Not ‘Pause’ on EDD
William S. Hart Union High School District officials announced Sunday Santa Clarita Valley public junior highs and high schools will not reopen in October, pushing the potential timeline for partial reopening to Nov. 13.
Hart District Won’t Reopen Schools in October
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills into law Saturday, strengthening protections for LGBTQ+ Californians.
Newsom Signs Bills Strengthening LGBTQ+ Protections
California Governor Gavin Newsom took action Sunday on several bills that continue the state’s long-standing leadership as a state of inclusion and refuge.
Newsom Acts on Bills to Support California’s Immigrant, Refugee Communities
1987 - Slender-horned spineflower listed in Federal Register as endangered species [story] Slender-horned spineflower
2014 - Towsley Canyon Loop Trail named for naturalist Don Mullally [story]
Don Mullally
1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]
Pico No. 4
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday 34 new deaths and 1,401 new cases of COVID-19, with 6,048 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, while Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 24th COVID-related death to date.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 24th Death at Henry Mayo; SCV Surpasses 6,000 Total Cases
Air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley will be unhealthy for sensitive groups/individuals Saturday, Sept. 26, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) forecast.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
With temperatures in parts of Los Angeles County expected to rise into the triple digits, various public facilities located throughout the County, including Stevenson Ranch Library, will serve as Emergency Cooling Centers.
Stevenson Ranch Library to Serve as Emergency Cooling Center
The 2020 census is underway and it is your civic duty to participate, but beware of scammers using this opportunity to steal your personal information.
Residents Warned of 2020 Census Scam
The Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission will hold a virtual study session via Zoom, Thursday, Oct 1, at 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 1: Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission Study Session
Foster youth in Santa Clarita have a new, dedicated place to study and receive homework help and tutoring. The local Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) organization has created The Study Place in response to the transition to online learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
FYI Debuts New ‘Study Place’ for Local Foster Youth to Support Online Learning
As part of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond’s Education to End Hate initiative, California school districts and charter schools have begun applying for mini-grants now available to support educator training in the areas of anti-racism and bias.
Thurmond Announces Mini Grants Available to Provide Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Educator Training
A crash involving multiple motorcycles Friday afternoon prompted a SigAlert on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in the Stevenson Ranch area, according to first responders.
Multi-Motorycle Crash Prompts SigAlert on SB I-5
With the 2020 SCV Walk to End Alzheimer’s quickly approaching on Saturday, October 3, the planning committee and the California Southland Chapter Alzheimer’s Association would like to update everyone regarding the Walk Day events.
Oct. 3: 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Presents Hybrid Event, Drive-By ‘Promise Flower’ Display
%d bloggers like this: