Garden Grove

Possible switch to OCFA on agenda

GARDEN GROVE fire truck (GGFD photo).

The question of whether to contract with the Orange County Fire Authority to provide fire and paramedic services will again come before the Garden Grove City Council when it meets on Tuesday.

Replacing the current Garden Grove Fire Department – with roots in the community back to the 1920s – with the OCFA has been under consideration for several months. A proposal by the OCFA in March indicated that such a switch could save the city several million dollars, but an analysis by Garden Grove’s finance department predicted that – instead – it would cost up to $15 million more over a 10-year period.

As an alternative, retiring Fire Chief Tom Schultz suggested a reorganization of the department that would upgrade paramedic service to match the OCFA model at a lower cost.

Since that report at a study session on Aug. 28, representatives of the city, the OCFA, the firefighters union, and others have been meeting. The agenda item recommends that the council consider several documents – including one from the Local 2005 (Garden Grove Firefighters Association).

In the latter instance, the GGFA seeks to make the case that figures don’t take into account issues of morale, retention and recruitment in the department, as well as facility maintenance costs, and argues that the expense of raising salaries for firefighters to a level making it easier to recruit and retain qualified firefighters would make the OCFA proposal more cost-effective in the long run. The GGFA estimate is that the switch would save $123,289 annually.

The council meets at 6:30 p.m. in its chambers at 11300 Stanford Ave. (at Euclid Street).

 

 

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