County leaders approve $4.6 million fire services reorganization in California

  • Source: Petaluma360 & Petaluma Argus Courier
  • Published: 03/21/2019 12:00 AM

In a move described as “generational change,” Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a $4.6 million plan to reorganize volunteer fire departments and boost staffing at four tax-supported fire districts. The approval followed positive comments from a dozen fire agency representatives in the audience, a sharp contrast from an earlier proposal that generated animosity within the fire services network. The plan, which includes placing 11 volunteer fire companies under unified management, is aimed at undoing the longstanding balkanization of county fire services, with more than three dozen volunteer companies, fire districts and city departments providing emergency medical services and firefighting at uneven levels as many struggle financially and lack sufficient volunteers. Getting them to move toward consolidation, the ultimate goal of the two-year plan approved Tuesday, required a departure from decades of tradition and rural independence.


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