Rotational fire engine company closures, in effect in Elk Grove since April 2013, will end Wednesday, thanks to new revenue sources.
The Cosumnes Community Services District board authorized the fire chief to end the closures with approval of the district’s 2015-16 preliminary budget, according to a district news release.
Originally, the rotational engine company closures included three engines, one each day, based on daily staffing levels affected by such factors as vacation and sick leave. As a result, an engine company was out of service each day 87 percent of the time, district officials said.
Earlier this year, one of those companies was restored due to a first responder fee. The fee is intended to offset the costs of providing advanced life-support services. Shortly afterward, the Fire Department applied for and received revenue from a new program offered by the state and federal government in the Medi-Cal Managed Care Program. The additional revenue, totaling more than $1.5 million, allowed the district to restore services, officials said.
“The fact that we’re able to restore this important service delivery level in Elk Grove is a direct result of hard work and efforts of many here at the department to find innovative solutions to new revenue,” Fire Chief Tracey Hansen said in a written statement. “If we were to wait for property tax revenues to rebound and fund the service delivery return, it could have taken months or years longer.”
The Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department serves an estimated 183,000 residents in a 157-square-mile area of south Sacramento County. It provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the cities of Elk Grove and Galt, and unincorporated areas of south Sacramento County. The department responds to approximately 15,000 calls for service annually, with eight stations districtwide, six in Elk Grove and two in Galt.