Fact Check: The Real Cost of a Four-Person Fire Crew
A key part of the pitch for the two-person emergency response crew serving Encanto is that it’s cheap. But firefighter union president Alan Arrollado says the crews are actually a raw deal for taxpayers.
Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
Jason Hewitt and Steve Vandewalle are part of the Fire Department's Fast Response Squad in Encanto.
Statement: “The city is paying half-price for quarter-service,” Alan Arrollado, president of San Diego’s firefighter’s union, wrote about the city’s two-person emergency response crew in a Dec. 1 op-ed.
Analysis: A key part of the pitch for the new, two-person emergency response crew serving Encanto is that it’s cheap.
Two firefighters operating out of a pick-up truck responding to 911 calls costs roughly $700,000 a year and allows the Fire-Rescue Department to get to emergencies quicker in a neighborhood long underserved by first responders. A city consultant recommended experimenting with the crews because they could handle emergencies in some neighborhoods at significantly less expense than building a new fire station. New stations staffed with a full four-person engine crew cost about $12 million.