Council to Discuss Fire Dept. Staffing Shortages Tonight

The city dissolved its joint fire department with Belmont and established its own nearly one year ago.

At tonight's meeting of the San Carlos City Council, and councilmembers will consider approving an agreement to hire Redwood City fire captains, firefighters and paramedics to help fill gaps in the barely-one-year-old .

Last October, the cities of their joint fire department, and each established its own department. San Carlos city officials complained that Belmont was not paying its fair share under the joint arrangement.

According to a article in Sunday's San Jose Mercury News, only 18 of the 24 fire department positions have been filled. The city established its own department last October after splitting from a joint arrangement with Belmont.

The article quotes Mayor Matt Grocott as saying, "The thing that I am afraid of is we're spending more, or as much as we would have if we had kept with the department that we had."

As reported in a , there currently are not enough employees to maintain even a minimal staff at both fire stations in town, forcing Fire Chief Jim Skinner and Deputy Fire Chief Stan Maupin to create occasional brown outs at station 16 (located on Alameda de las Pulgas). The city has budgeted for 24 positions, however, only 18 are filled.

If hired by San Carlos,would come at a higher rate than current staff. According to a memo by San Carlos city manager Jeff Maltbie, a Redwood City fire captain's overtime pay would be $71.33 an hour (compared to San Carlos at $54.54/hour), firefighter/paramedic's pay would be $63.23 (compared to San Carlos $51.27/hour), and firefighter's pay would be $56.45 (compared to San Carlos $47.12/hour). 

The San Carlos City Council will meet Monday at 7:00 p.m. in San Carlos City Hall, 600 Elm St. For more information, go to www.cityofsancarlos.org.

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Andy C September 10, 2012 at 06:51 PM
When is Grocott going to work solely for the people of San Carlos? He is still so hung up on Belmont and the bad deal that he initially was part of. We are on better footing today than we were under the previous deal. Period. Yes, we need to figure out the union overtime schemes and get costs under control.
Scresident September 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM
There is scheme as you state. Stations need to be staffed period. Ironic that the two biggest proponents of outsourcing are gone, Ahmed-dead, Kline had to resign. What a mess they left.
Cy Young award September 11, 2012 at 05:28 AM
I'll Captain or even drive Engine 16. I'm a retired San Francisco Fire Dept.Battalion Chief who has lived in the White Oaks neighborhood (Station 16's first due area)since 1993 after my wife and I moved from our hometown of San Francisco to a quieter town with better schools and weather. San Carlos has come to being greater in every way. What happened to the FF's union and why aren't these brown outs posted at the station? Taxpayers have a right to kow when their lives are put into greater danger when their firehouse is closed. Btw, I'd work for meal money.


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