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Living in San Carlos January 27, 2010

Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department to Meet With San Carlos Residents

by Chuck Gillooley

Community Meeting:  The Status of our Fire Services, and Emergency Preparedness.

This coming Thursday, January 28 @ 7:00PM, representatives of the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department will be holding a meeting with San Carlos residents to discuss the state of our community fire services today, and what could be in store for the department in the face of upcoming budget cuts.   In addition, they will discuss emergency preparedness, and what could happen to our community in the event of a large-scale emergency.

This meeting will be hosted by City Council Member Andy Klein, and will feature presentations from Fire Chief Douglas Fry, and Disaster Preparedness Officer Cristy Adonis.  Here are a few of the topics that will be discussed:

  • Our Shrinking Fire Department:  What we have – and don’t have – in the way of resources, and why it is worse off than any other fire agency in the county.
  • What Our Fire Department Does:  Did you know that it operates a hazardous materials team for all of San Mateo County?  Did you know that more than half of all calls are medical emergencies – strokes, heart attacks, falls, fainting and the like? Is one of those calls likely to happen on your block?
  • Communications:  How our fire department works with county emergency services, and why this is important to us.  Did you know that the fire department also is required to have a plan for the outbreak of a pandemic virus, such as Swine Flu?  Did you know that this could involve a quarantine of the neighborhood?
  • CERT (Community Emergency Response Team):  This is a training program that shows residents how to deal with emergencies and how to create neighborhood preparedness groups, block by block.  We need to sign up for this quickly since it might well become another victim of budget cuts.
  • Home Fire Insurance: How you premium might go up, way up, if Fire Station 16 – OUR White Oaks station – is closed because of budget cuts.  This affects EVERY one of us.

The Meeting Details:

When: Thursday, January 28th @ 7:00PM

Where: Museum of San Carlos History

533 Laurel Street, San Carlos (right next door to Fire Station 13.)

If you’re concerned at all where your own fire service is headed (and you should be) then it’s worth attending this meeting!

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Comments 2
  • Hi Chuck,
    According to their announcement at the Athletic Site Advisory Committee on January 12, the San Carlos Park & Rec department plans on closing multiple parks this year, as well as the Youth Center 10 months of the year.

    The city’s priority should be to increase accessibility to all our parks, not shut them down in favor of building one synthetic field at Highlands Park that will be scheduled out to the highest bidders and closed to all others.

    Synthetic at Highlands is an over $2 million investment in a short-term solution lasting only 8 years. (See “Staff Report,” Fiscal Implications, at http://www.epackets.net/cache/2/ddnu3p45hhllqc2x3kq3bu45/1027303101272010045940946.PDF ) When you figure in the replacement costs every 8 years, the cost is nearly double that.

    Our police and fire service is stretched to the breaking point. Essential services are being cut. How can we commit that kind of money, in today’s budget crisis, to one project that robs all other park and recreation needs? It is time to redirect the Measure G and PAMF funds to be used to keep all our parks open and functional. This may require a ballot measure.

    San Carlos’ budget crisis is severe, and we must let the city know where our priorities are. If City Council votes to select a synthetic turf installer at the February 8 Council meeting, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to change course once they enter into a contract.

    We invite you to join us this Friday evening, January 29, at 7pm to plan our approach. We encourage you to inform your friends and neighbors about this urgent issue, and the need to press the City Council through letters and most importantly, speaking at the Council Meeting February 8.
    Thank you,
    Heidi
    Save San Carlos Parks

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    • Heidi,

      Thanks for your post. And before I forget, be sure to mention where the meeting is this Friday (I don’t think you specified a location in your comment.)

      The recommended closure of both Crestview and Arguello Parks is only going to add more fuel behind the initiative to re-surface Highlands Park with an all-weather surface — why? Because the remaining fields (Burton, Highlands, Laureola, and Stadium) will be burdened that much more demand, and the City will want to provide at least one surface that can get continual use, regardless of weather conditions.

      This city is in a huge financial mess right now. When we’re talking about closing a fire station, you know it’s a serious deal.

      Thanks,

      Chuck

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