November 2009 home page


Fire Coöp
Richard Earnest  | City Council

Courtesy Del Mar Fire Department

On Thursday, the 15th of October, the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas and the people of Rancho Santa Fe signed an agreement establishing a new cooperative agreement for fire services in our communities. This agreement was achieved through the ability of many people to see the greater good of combining our coastal fire departments into one organization while retaining each city’s individuality. I want to take a minute to explain what has been achieved for the residents of Del Mar.

As you may know, we have been working in cooperation with Solana Beach for the last few years in leveraging our mutual fire assets to deliver quality fire service to our residents. This is simply an expansion of that idea.

There are several important points I want to emphasize. First, we have always struggled to provide 24/7 fire safety service in our community. We aren’t big enough to enjoy much redundancy with our fire department. Many of our firefighters do double duty to cover the many responsibilities demanded of the fire service. Second, the management oversight required is a constant challenge. With this agreement, we have a collective organization that can provide full service to all residents. Third, for those who may worry that we will lose our special identity and personal service delivered by our Del Mar Fire Department, you can relax. We still have our own personnel, our firefighters will wear the same Del Mar patch and the vehicles will still reflect “Del Mar” as their point of identification. Your experience of our fire department won’t change.

The increased regional cooperation will provide better coverage and response in large fire events and better management and career opportunities for our firefighters. Not lost in this agreement is the financial leverage created. Del Mar will save over $200,000 per year with this combination while getting greater management coverage. In these challenging financial times, we are constantly alert to opportunities for leveraging services to our community. This agreement provides the best of both.

Photo Art Olson


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