This morning (Friday), history turned the page in Garden Grove as fire and paramedic service passed from the city fire department to the Orange County Fire Authority.
At 8 a.m., the 93-year-old GGFD – with its roots as a volunteer firefighting force – disappeared into the OCFA, an Irvine-based joint powers authority that covers most of the county.
The staff of the GGFD became employees of the OCFA and Garden Grove will be part of Division 1 of the OCFA as Battalion 1. The new “fire chief” for the Big Strawberry will be Ron Roberts, who will oversee OCFA operations for Garden Grove and several adjacent communities from what was formerly the GGFD headquarters on Acacia Parkway in the Civic Center.
Emergency calls should continue to be directed to 9-1-1. Battalion headquarters can be reached at (714) 573-6000. The public information office is at (714) 357-7782.
Under the 10-year agreement with the OCFA, the former GGFD vehicles will bear the logos of both the agency and Garden Grove.
The change from the fire department to the OCFA was controversial. Arguments in favor of the change included improved response time for paramedic calls; skeptics pointed to city financial projections saying that the switch would cost taxpayers upwards of $1 million annually.
Categories: Garden Grove
Any word from the city on how they plan to address the $60 million PERS unfunded pension liability for its now former fire department? Upon exiting from PERS they require all UALs to be paid off within 5 years. Does Garden Grove have an extra $12 million per year for the next five to pay it off? What was sold to garden grove taxpayers as a cost savings and service improvement will eventually lead to insolvency. Just ask Santa Ana. Their PERS UAL payoff when they joined ocfa was more than $100 million and that city council is now feeling like they were duped and are considering legal action.