While a couple of cities over the past year have threatened to drop out of the Orange County Fire Authority, Garden Grove is veering the opposite direction – toward membership.
If the final steps unfold as expected, OCFA may absorb the 93-year-old Garden Grove Fire Department as early as August. All full-time current employees would stay put.
In return for providing fire and paramedic services, OCFA would bill Garden Grove $22.1 million annually for the 10-year contract, plus about $113,600 per year for start-up costs. That’s almost $3 million less than what the city expected to spend this fiscal year to operate its Fire Department.
The transition enjoys broad support. City officials say joining OCFA will cut costs, relieve pension liability and fund necessary equipment updates. At a recent workshop, most if not all of the seven City Council members appeared amenable to the idea.
And, importantly, the Garden Grove chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters labor union enthusiastically promotes the move.