Federal grant helps pay for three new YC firefighters
Yuba City has added three more firefighters as part of an ongoing effort to boost staffing at its fire stations.
“We're trying to get a minimum of three on duty at each of the five city fire stations,” said Fire Chief Marc Boomgaarden.
The city achieved the goal at its third station with new firefighters who started Dec. 24. They will boost the staffing at Fire Station No. 2, on Gray Avenue adjacent to April Lane Elementary School, which is now staffed on a 24-hour basis with a three-person crew, up from two people.
“It's been a goal of mine, a lot of us, to get three firefighters on each station,” Councilwoman Karen Cartoscelli said Tuesday night.
“I think this is great to have three positions,” said Councilman John Miller.
Boomgaarden said two people per engine is safe but three is safer, according to guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association. The additional staffer improves fire suppression and life safety protection.
“It makes us more effective in the ability to deliver the services,” Boomgaarden said.
The chief said he will ask for more positions in the 2006-2007 budget to have three firefighters on duty at the Lincoln Road and Railroad Avenue station and then go for a third crew member at the Tierra Buena station in the following year's budget. The City Council would have to approve the positions.
The three new firefighters are being partly funded with a $300,000, five-year Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security that the council approved Tuesday night.
Yuba City was one of about 150 successful grant applicants out of almost 2,600 requests for the federal money.
The city has brought on four firefighters, which includes the filling of a vacancy plus the new positions: Aaron Chamberlain, David Jans, Greg Mann and Thorin Rice.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.