San Carlos Considering Fire Truck Options

June 13, 2011

SAN CARLOS, CA – The City of San Carlos is considering contracting wtih Redwood City for fire truck service, according to City documents. A report from a company called TriData says the City Council should form this agreement with Redwood City and then explore the purchase of a new or used hybrid engine/ladder truck (quint) in the future. City documents show that City staff agrees with the report and analysis from TriData and that with the time left to get the new department up and running, contracting with Redwood City makes the most sense.

A news release from the City explains that on April 25, the City Council voted unanimously to establish a City of San Carlos Fire Department that will start operating on October 13. The new fire department will be a “hybrid” staffed by employees who work for San Carlos but are managed under contract by the Redwood City Fire Department's Command Staff. The previous setup was a Joint Powers Agreement between the Cities of Belmont and San Carlos, but this agreement will dissolve on Oct. 12, 2011.

The cost for a contract with Redwood City would be $100,000 per year, increasing 3 percent annually. Purchasing a refurbished quint would cost $250,000 to $300,000, plus annual equipment fund contributions of $70,000 per year. A new quint would cost $650,000 to $750,000 plus annual equipment fund contributions of $70,000 per year.

The contract cost is based on San Carlos paying for part of the replacement costs of the ladder truck in use in Redwood City and part of the staffing costs of that company. As part of this proposal, Redwood City would reserve the right to review truck service costs after one year.

The City Council plans to vote on this propsal on June 13.

By Greg Basich

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