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San Diego Metro Area Discussion - Local area specific discussion for San Diego and Imperial Counties.

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Old 05-08-2018, 7:25 PM
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Default San Diego County Considering Combining Fire Disp

Heard on the news today that the county board of supervisors voted to explore combining all 5 county fire dispatch centers into one.

Supervisors consider consolidating dispatch centers - Ramona Sentinel
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Old 05-13-2018, 3:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celbaseman View Post
Heard on the news today that the county board of supervisors voted to explore combining all 5 county fire dispatch centers into one.

Supervisors consider consolidating dispatch centers - Ramona Sentinel
SUCH nonsense. Heartland LOST CV (AND San Miguel for a while) because of differing vieews of WHAT they were doing. San Diego City would never tolerate what's commonly done at other dispatch centers.
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Old 05-13-2018, 4:35 PM
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Cal Fire, Monte Vista, Pendleton, Tribal, Districts, and cities may have other thoughts. The headline was deceptive and suggested the BOS could make that decision for everyone. There must be 40 or so agencies to bring aboard. One center, never. Carlsbad, Encinitas, and other agencies used to having it their way are not going to want more personal handholding than SD City would ever ask or pay for.

Cal Fire will never give up the ECC.

A project this big with so many agencies would take 3 to 5 years from now to implement.

Last edited by PaulNDaOC; 05-13-2018 at 4:46 PM..
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Old 05-13-2018, 5:21 PM
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According to another article on the SDUT the dispatch centers would just be under the same roof, they wouldn't be merging into one big agency.

"“Fire doesn’t care about jurisdictions, but even more importantly, 95 percent of our incidents are medical emergencies and this would help with those responses,” said Cal Fire Deputy Fire Chief Dave Nissen."

"Although each dispatch center would be located in the space, the plan doesn’t call for the various agencies to merge operations."

Full Article
County to explore bringing five fire dispatch centers under one roof - The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:29 PM
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Fire dispatch consolidation is a win-win for the taxpayer, patients, civilian dispatchers and firefighters. Nearly all the large consolidated dispatcher centers have a 24/7/365 fire officer at Captain or higher in-house, this greatly increases command and control, typically with one or more BCs or Assistant Chief on call back to dispatch. It standardizes responses, especially for medical calls. Cal-Fire's ECCs are admired for the quality of medical dispatch. Cal-Fire typically uses a local contract physician Medical Director with support from a State HQ physician. Cal-Fire also meets FAA requirements for aircraft dispatch, not sure all of the city dispatch centers do (such as SDFD). Last I knew Escondido does not even do Medical Priority Dispatch. The fire dispatch centers typically have candidates waiting at the doors, many of the combine police/LEA/fire dispatch centers have had staffing issues in the past (or present).
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Old 05-14-2018, 9:11 PM
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That sounds like a fun cluster when the consolidated dispatch center goes down for some glitch.

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Old 05-16-2018, 7:11 PM
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After getting to see a better-crafted article from the LA Times San Diego Bureau (U-T) , a clearer picture of what they want to do doesn't seem as whacky as what the first article suggested a total merger.

I doubt with such a hefty price tag ($22-28M) that agencies not needing a new facility will not find that they use reserves for a new center that really will really benefit wildland agencies most. The rest of it can be accomplished with regular meeting and closely integrated CAD.

There absolutely will be a benefit for that big fire every couple years, and each center could benefit, but what about individual users.

I just don't see Encinatas, Carlsbad, El Cajon, La Mesa, and other cities not in Wildland zones forking over the money, without a direct benefit.

Another problem you will have is moving a center a good distance is going to cause some very hard to select and train dispatchers to resign because of a new commute. It happens. These guys and gals are gold and will get picked up in a heartbeat at their local PD.

Maybe a couple will co-locate, but not them all. Why would you if your center is adequate. Mobile Communications trailers forward-staged at a predetermined location will do just fine.

If I am not buying into the idea, a local yocal on a local city council will have stroke.

Last edited by PaulNDaOC; 05-16-2018 at 7:15 PM..
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Old 05-16-2018, 9:05 PM
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Paul, there are 5 fire dispatch centers in San Diego County (not counting the military) - San Diego City (which also covers Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and Poway); NorthCom (a JPA covering all of the cities and districts on the north coast and north inland except Escondido [which is dispatched by their PD]); Heartland (Alpine, Bonita, Heartland Fire-Rescue [El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove], Lakeside, San Miguel, Santee and some Reservations); and MVU (CalFire/County Fire Authority and Cleveland NF). Each of these centers needs more space (some more desparately than others). Does each JPA do it on their own, or do they combine to save money by co-locating?

Yes, there are some concerns (back-up sites, personnel, etc.). But that is the purpose of the study - to see how feasible it is to combine.
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Old 05-17-2018, 1:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K6CDO View Post
Paul, there are 5 fire dispatch centers in San Diego County (not counting the military) - San Diego City (which also covers Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and Poway); NorthCom (a JPA covering all of the cities and districts on the north coast and north inland except Escondido [which is dispatched by their PD]); Heartland (Alpine, Bonita, Heartland Fire-Rescue [El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove], Lakeside, San Miguel, Santee and some Reservations); and MVU (CalFire/County Fire Authority and Cleveland NF). Each of these centers needs more space (some more desparately than others). Does each JPA do it on their own, or do they combine to save money by co-locating?

Yes, there are some concerns (back-up sites, personnel, etc.). But that is the purpose of the study - to see how feasible it , plus is to combine.
Expansion and renovation will be much more cost-effective than this. Public safety dollars are tight and local agencies all over have getting hosed by the P,25/Motorola Mafia and the ridiculous end of life dates attached to systems, including RCS, which will run $86M to replace not including radio or console replacement costs.

Add ballooning pension costs and the need for more ALS staffing, and I don't see a compelling need for this.

Lastly large parcels are harder to come across to build on and command very high prices unless your willing to build it in Alpine.

Using their cost estimation the cost give-or-take to Oceanside $1.5M, Escondido $1.3M, El Cajon $900,000, Chula Vista $2.2M. I think the days of the big DHS grants are over with. It's a big ticket item. And you still have to pay for day-to-day operations.

Last edited by PaulNDaOC; 05-17-2018 at 2:12 AM..
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Old 05-17-2018, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNDaOC View Post
Expansion and renovation will be much more cost-effective than this. Public safety dollars are tight and local agencies all over have getting hosed by the P,25/Motorola Mafia and the ridiculous end of life dates attached to systems, including RCS, which will run $86M to replace not including radio or console replacement costs.
Northcom is bursting in the former Rancho Santa Fe Fire HQ facility at their station 1. No where to expand to without kicking out the fire station.

Heartland is bursting in the basement under El Cajon Station 1. No where to expand to.

San Diego has outgrown their 1991 facility built to replace the basement of Fire Station 1. No where to expand to.

Monte Vista is in 3 buildings (one a set of modular space). There is land for a new facility.

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Add ballooning pension costs and the need for more ALS staffing, and I don't see a compelling need for this.

Lastly large parcels are harder to come across to build on and command very high prices unless your willing to build it in Alpine.

Using their cost estimation the cost give-or-take to Oceanside $1.5M, Escondido $1.3M, El Cajon $900,000, Chula Vista $2.2M. I think the days of the big DHS grants are over with. It's a big ticket item. And you still have to pay for day-to-day operations.
As I noted, there is space at Monte Vista. The City also has parcels available. The County does, also (although the Board has been disposing of some for affordable housing).

Modification of any existing facility will be expensive, due to the state's Essential Services Facilities Act. Consolidating into one joint-use facility creates cost savings (construction and operational costs of one or two vs. four facilities).

In any case, let's wait and see what the result of the discussions are.
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Old 05-18-2018, 3:28 AM
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There is a new reality coming soon. The California economy is not going to be able to sustain itself because of housing prices is going to lead to another round of good-salary paying employers leaving the state and a real estate collapse. These are the people that pay the way for the DACA's and the fence sitters at Border Field.

Absent that, the projections that cities and counties around the state are seeing for future PERS debt is frightening. Throw in a new radio system,that will cost nothing compared to pensions and a public that will not likely vote for bonds to cover the costs it is going to be tough but dispatchers and firemen will have to be happy working in a modular dispatch center if they have to have more room, or accept pension and salary cuts. You can guess what the path of least resistance will be here? It's already started in some areas of the state, it will here too. All the 3% at 50 and 2.7% at 55 deals that cropped in in the 90's, guarantee it. These people are just about ready to retire..

Be prepared to relearn your understanding about municipal financing. It's going to get rough. Like Puerto Rico rough in some parts of the state. Contract cities in certain areas and a few places like L.A. County that had a CAO smart enough not to offer the 3 at 50 carrot will be ok too.

Last edited by PaulNDaOC; 05-18-2018 at 3:37 AM..
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