fire services

Politicos Trade Barbs Over Slow Fire Response Times

San Jose Inside first reported on the fire department’s lagging response times more than a year ago.

The first political firefight of the San Jose mayor’s race has adopted the adage “everything old is new again.” Two weeks ago, the county Board of Supervisors took a bold vote to withhold $700,000 from the city of San Jose due to its fire department’s slow—and in some cases absent—emergency response times. Contracted by the county to arrive first on the scene for high-priority “lights and sirens” emergencies within eight minutes, 90 percent of the time, SJFD has routinely showed up late and misreported its response times in the last four years.

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Wasserman’s State of the County Speech Highlights Social Services, Healthcare

Supervisor Mike Wasserman, recently installed as president of the Board of Supervisors, delivered his State of the County speech on Tuesday.

The stink of ex-Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. has dissipated, and Santa Clara County is focused on a fresh start for 2014. “Scandal is no longer in the air,” Supervisor Ken Yeager said after Tuesday’s State of the County speech, delivered by recently sworn-in Board President Mike Wasserman. “We certainly spent most of last year changing and improving public outreach and creating much more transparency than there was before.” Wasserman’s address focused on the county’s role as a safety net for the most vulnerable, while also highlighting the little-known services it provides for residents.

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Grand Jury Validation

A new Grand Jury report says San Jose routinely over-deploys firetrucks, and suggests changes to current rules mandating four firefighters on every call.

In the past, I have written about how fire services are deployed in San Jose with an emphasis on the data that shows the overwhelming ratio of medical calls to actual fires. In addition, I have shared that San Jose’s minimum staffing contract requires four people per fire engine while every other city in the county requires three firefighters or less.

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