San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) is a regulatory agency responsible for coordinating, directing, and overseeing logical and timely changes to local governmental boundaries, including annexation and detachment of territory, incorporation of cities, formation of special districts, and consolidation, merger, and dissolution of districts.
For the purposes of this question, I'll only be focusing on personnel. There is a whole budget talk in here that I'm not going to get into right now. Also, the JCFPD has a contract with the county of San Diego to provide an ambulance to Julian and the surrounding area.Since this is a county contract, and no matter what happens with the JCFPD, the county will have an ambulance, I will not be considering them when I talk about staffing.
Before I get to your question, I'd like to give you my background in the EMS and fire service. That will show you the lens I view this issue through
I started volunteering for Julian in mid to late '14. I worked for a municipal department down the hill as a Wildland Firefighter/EMT from Dec '14 through Jan '18. I will primarily be speaking about these times, since that is when I can personally attest to.
"Why are you so against keeping both cal fire and the volunteers like we have always had it OB? Isn't it better to have both than to just limit ourselves to cal fire alone? Why change?"
Because your question is wrong.
You ask why I'm against both CalFire and volunteers like we've always had it? The answer is, I'm not. Because we haven't had just CalFire and the volunteers in almost three years. We have had the Volunteers (JCFPD), CalFire, and the County (SDCFA). For the last three years, the SDCFA has had a Type 1 (structure) Paramedic Engine in Julian, that would respond in parallel with the JCFPD.
In the time I spent as a volunteer, the JCFPD has had very poor staffing. There have been many, many, times in the last 3.5/4 years that the only person the JCFPD had responding to calls was the duty officer. On days like this, I would call the officer on my way home from work, and let them know that I would respond from home to the station and take the rescue if we broke a call. That means we (The JCFPD) had one, or maybe two people to respond. This didn't happen all the time. But it happened often enough that it wasn't a fluke issue, but an ongoing problem. The only thing, in my opinion, that saved our bacon was the SDCFA engine that would respond whether we were there or not. If it was just the JCFPD and CalFire, I would not be in favor of dissolution, but it's not. It's The JCFPD, CalFire, AND the SDCFA. the SDCFA and CalFire are not the same. The SDCFA currently contracts their staffing through CalFire. But they are two separate fire agencies.
People on here often talk about having 12+ volunteers, and 40+ reserves. Those are all volunteer positions. If a volunteer doesn't feel like running a call, or no reserves sign up for shifts. Then we're stuck with no one. When it's your job, you don't run a call because you felt like going out, you run the call because it's your job. There isn't an option not to. What happens if a volunteer gets sick, or goes on vacation? Nothing, they just don't go on calls. What happens if a career firefighter gets sick, or goes on vacation? Someone back fills them, and their position is cover.
Did you know there is nothing keeping the volunteers from volunteering? The county has a reserve program that allows people to volunteer their time to pull shifts just like our reserve program. They have even made an exemption to their rules, saying anyone of the JCFPD volunteers, or reserves that want to join their reserve can stay right here in Julian. They added provisions to the contract to allow the volunteers that might not be able to make some of the stricter requirements to staff equipment. Things like the water tender.
Again, I'm not in favor of just CalFire. I'm in favor of CalFire, the SDCFA, AND our local volunteers. Volunteering through SDCFA, not the JCFPD.
I hope that answers your question. If you have more, please feel free to ask.