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May 11, 2010 > Union City Fire Department to consolidate with Alameda County

Union City Fire Department to consolidate with Alameda County

By Meenu Gupta

Union City will be the fourth city after San Leandro, Dublin and Newark to contract with Alameda County Fire Department. According to Alameda County Fire Chief Sheldon D. Gilbert the date for the Union City Fire Department to officially merge into the Alameda County Fire Department will be July 1, 2010. Details of the ceremony have not yet been finalized.

Union City Council approved to consolidate with the Alameda County Fire Department on Tuesday, April 20 with a 3-2 vote. Councilmembers Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Manny Fernandez rejected the merger, but Councilmember Jim Navarro, along with Mayor Mark Green and Vice Mayor Richard Valle approved it. The approved contract for Fire and Emergency Services is for five years.

Alameda County Fire will maintain the current service level, and all four fire stations in Union City will remain open. Each station will be staffed by three firefighters. The four companies/stations in Union City and the three companies/stations in Newark will become one battalion with a single Battalion Chief per shift. ACFD will do an evaluation and place Battalion Chief at the most optimal location upon approval of the City Managers in Newark and Union City.

Firefighters are expected to respond to a scene within five minutes in 90 percent of cases, and within 10 minutes 99 percent of the time. While Union City will be able to take advantage of additional resources provided by Alameda County Fire, including more hands-on training and equipment, city officials project spending about $263,000 more per year for fire services with Alameda County Fire.

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