My name is Tony Cornett. I am a retired Cal Fire Captain with over 30 years in the fire service. I live in the community of California Hot Springs (Pine Flat) in the southern mountains of Tulare County (Ca.). The county fire dept consists of 27 stations staffed by career firefighters. We are only afforded coverage of our station 12 hours per day 4 days per week with 1 paid captain. We lost 24/7/365 coverage 8 years ago when the county took back control of their fire dept from Cal Fire who administered it under contract for decades. We have asked the county board of supervisors for 8 years to staff our station 24/7. The next nearest paid 24/7 staffed fire county station is an hour out! (in good weather).The Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of the Cigna building in Visalia Ca. for $16.9M folks and yet they won't staff our fire station 24/7.
This shows they have no priority placed on public safety in our mountain communities. They are essentially telling us our lives and property don't matter. They'll spend $16.9M on office space yet are willing to turn a blind eye to the public safety needs of their constituents and ignore our concerns. It's not very comforting in knowing your elected officials place such a low priority on the public safety needs of its citizens?
We're a small community seeking public support from everywhere we can get it. Residents have come to me asking me to try and get our fire station staffed 24/7. We only have 3 volunteers with only one qualified to operate the equipment.
More info is available on our Facebook page. Please visit it for more info and help show support our effort if you choose. Because we are a small community we need nationwide public support to show the board of supervisors we need fire/ems staffing 24/7. The board of supervisors has developed a strong sense of ownership and won't listen. I'm running out of options and need help so I am asking for fraternal help here. The county fire dept is willing to staff our station, but the board of supervisors refuse to listen yet they will spend $13M on office space. I'm at wits end and turning to Firefighter Nation seeking support. Maybe share our page or help make our new petition go viral? I'm “running out of water on a large fire” Thank you for any support you may offer us!
I realize many departments are underfunded right now and short on staffing, but there is a huge difference in between under staffed and unstaffed. I am not soliciting money or services.
I am at wits end and asking for any fraternal advice I can get and trying my best to generate public awareness of our plight.
Our Facebpok page....
Like most situations it takes something bad to happen to get results. Trying to get people interested in volunteering and training to be prepared to help if something happens or the county or the state to step in and fill the needs of the community. I guess like everywhere money for this or that gets lost in what is important. Our county where I live and work feels they need have money in the bank for bonds to show so they can barrow money from lenders. Mean time we have a new police station empty because we have no police officers to fill it, or a new fire station falling apart after the apparatus move in from their old station. Many things are needed from people to fill positions or equipment to replace old and falling apart vehicles or other things.
I know the period is over but what about a SAFER Grant in the near future that could help with a lot of staffing issues.