If you have an emergency
For fire and EMS calls from a
Contra Costa County
Fire Protection Department
4005 Port Chicago Highway,
Concord, CA 94520-1180
Phone: (925) 941-3300
Thank you for visiting the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District website.
If you live or work in, or simply regularly pass through Contra Costa County, chances are, we are your fire “department.” Our District is a recognized fire service leader, one of the largest in the State of California, providing fire and emergency medical services to nearly a million people across our 304 square-mile District and, through our ambulance service “Alliance” and mutual and auto aid agreements, in and around the 19 cities of the county.
Dispatchers in our state-of the-art communications center are the ones answering your 9-1-1 calls for fire and emergency services and, in most cases, it is our firefighters, engines and trucks that respond to your calls for fire and medical emergencies. Countywide, the ambulances of our one-of-a-kind ambulance transport program provide medical transport of all types.
In 2017, we responded to nearly 74,000 fire and EMS emergencies and provided expert medical care in the conduct of more than 75,000 ambulance transports. The District, with 25 fire stations and nearly 400 employees, is dedicated to the preservation of life, property and the environment.
In 2017, we made headway on returning the District to pre-recession conditions by replacing our aging fleet and performing much needed maintenance at our facilities. Our largest bargaining groups completed negotiations for a three-year salary and benefit package. We also developed a five-year operational plan to guide our leadership in the years ahead.
The last year was one of notable progress for the Fire District, and 2018 is off to a fast start with the promise of even more success. Highlights include:
In 2018, we will separate our communications center into a division of its own which will be managed by a new Assistant Fire Chief. With the addition of El Cerrito Fire as a subscriber, our regional communications center now dispatches for every fire district in the county except San Ramon Fire and Richmond Fire. In addition, we dispatch all county ambulances except those in San Ramon. It is an extremely busy and complex center, and I believe it will have an increasingly important role as we move forward and expand our medical operations.
We expect to go to bid in April for the construction of Fire Station 70 in San Pablo. This new station will give us room to expand in west county, and it will be able to house two fire apparatus and a Battalion Chief. We anticipate the opening of Fire Station 70 in late 2019.
We continue to prosper in the pursuit of grants to purchase equipment for the Fire District. We have been awarded several grants to purchase items such as a new water tender, new thermal imaging cameras, a new inflatable rescue boat and tow vehicle, and a truck-mounted generator. We are fortunate to be so successful in this process and thank our personnel for their work in this program.
This year we will continue to replace some of our heavy fleet including four new engines, a new ladder truck, and some new wildland apparatus. Our call volume is very high for the number of fire companies in our District which means we put a lot of mileage on our apparatus annually and must replace them more frequently.
The ambulance transport program continues to thrive. Our response times are well within the EMS agency’s 90% requirements, and our performance hovers between 85-97%. This means faster response times for 911 callers and shorter on-scene times for fire companies, freeing them up for other calls in their response areas.
The Fire District’s call volume is increasing at an alarming rate, outpacing our revenues by far. In response to this, the District is seeking options for reducing our response numbers, including sending ambulances without fire resources to low acuity medical calls and giving our dispatchers more latitude regarding what resources should be sent to other types of incidents. We hope that our efforts will reduce the number of responses and help us maintain better alignment with our revenues.
With over 11,000 structures burned and over 60 lives lost, last year’s wildland fire season was one of the most devastating on record. The Fire District is preparing for another intense fire season and is working with state officials to make changes to our mutual aid system in order to position resources before incidents occur. We will also staff our bulldozer during the wildland season and continue to provide firefighting staff and equipment on the Sheriff’s helicopter for aerial support.
Although we are certainly aware of the wildland fire season that impacts us every year, the Fire District is never really out of a fire season. Last year, we continued to have a high number of structural fires, with an average of one per day, many of which required multiple alarms to control. Structure fires are one of the most dangerous emergencies we respond to, and they cause a large number of both firefighter and civilian deaths each year. Our firefighters are some of the best, and they work hard to keep property and life loss to a minimum. Although we have been very fortunate in not having any firefighter fatalities in the last several years, we have experienced many major injuries that have brought an early end to the careers of some of our employees.
A large number of our fires are arson, and our Fire Investigation Unit keeps very busy. Our investigators are armed peace officers who specialize in the detection of fire causation. They investigate between 40-50 fires each month and work very closely with our district attorney to assure that the arrests they make get prosecuted. Because of the experience they acquire in the field, our investigators are often sought out as subject matter experts in outside investigations, court cases, and even educational opportunities.
The Fire District has experienced much success over the last several years, and I attribute that success to our policymakers, managers, and labor all working together in a focused direction. As I have said in the past, it is a privilege to be the fire chief of such a progressive organization, and I look forward to what 2018 will bring.