Contracting out with LA County Fire?

Over the last decade, the West Covina Fire Department has consistently been cut. The department now finds itself in a 27-million-dollar hole. With the prospect of outdated equipment, stations that are inhabitable, and the potential layoff of 30 firefighters, the City formed a committee to explore the viability of LA County Fire Department services.

It is a committee formed that included representatives from West Covina City Management, West Covina Fire Management, West Covina Fire Labor representatives, and West Covina Finance Department personnel in order to research the viability of contracting out with LA County Fire Department.

No, although the West Covina Firefighters have no say in the decision of contracting out, the City Council and City Management have given us a seat at the table and been in constant communication with the employees. The gathering of information has been a collaborative task and involved a team effort.

No. If the city contracts with LACo, no firefighters would lose their jobs. However, if the city does not find a financial solution, there is a potential of further closure of Fire Stations.

Yes. The LA County Fire Exploratory Committee unanimously voted in support of contracting out with LACo Fire. The committee found that not only did LA County Fire provide a better service to the community, it also found that it would save upwards of 55 million dollars over the next 10 years. The contracting out was also endorsed by the city’s independent Finance and Audit Committee on June 11th, 2020.

No. All data gathered shows that response time would remain as they are and sometimes improve.

The process of completely shutting down a Fire Station when a Firefighter is sick or on vacation.

Yes. Part of the committee findings were that LA County Fire had more than enough units surrounding the city and that it would be a waste of taxpayer money to keep Station 1 and Station 5 open. This is the benefit of the shared resource model provided by LA County Fire Currently West Covina’s boarders often prevent the closest fire engine or ambulance to respond to an emergency. With shared resources, the closest fire engine or ambulance responds to your home regardless of what city you live in. This provides the most cost effective and efficient form of emergency service to citizens. LA County Fire would keep and sometimes improve the current response times that we have.

It’s a reckless response to underlying problems. Closing down Fire Station without having the support of LA County Fire to respond in support of that station would greatly increase response times risk firefighters lives and put the lives of citizens in the city at risk. Brownouts would not fix the equipment, station, or staffing issues.

No. West Covina would be entering a fee for service contract with LACo fire This means the fire service is provided for a fee which is over $3 million below the current fire department budget. LACo Fire is not paid for through additional taxes and will not require an increase in taxes.

Some will and some won’t If contracted the make up of LACo Fire would include some of the same firefighters you are used to and some of men and women from the LACo Fire, including some that live within our city.

Vincent Capelle
Fire Chief
1444 W. Garvey Ave. South
West Covina, CA 91790
(c) 626-221-9943 (o) 626-939-8830 (f) 626-939-8650

Mike Hambel
Union President
[email protected]
PO Box 5191
West Covina, CA 91791
(626) 426-1130

Finance and Audit Presentation by the Fire Chief
Fire Chief Presentation link

Articles on Departments that tried brownouts in the
Tragedy due to brownouts San Diego
LA Times Article

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a one-of-a-kind addiction treatment facility specializing in PTSD for IAFF members – and IAFF members only – who are struggling with addiction, PTSD other related behavioral health challenges to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery. It is a safe haven for members to talk with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges.

West Covina Professional Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 3226