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Fire Board president responds to grand jury report

By June 24, 2011

El Dorado Hills Fire Board President Greg Durante issued the following statement in response to the 2010-11 El Dorado County Grand Jury Report:

“I have assigned the report to a committee and will provide a detailed response to their findings and recommendations in the next 60 days. That is our opportunity to correct misstatements and clarify district operations and policies.

My initial impression is that there will be some areas of disagreement and other areas of complete agreement. In fact, some of the grand jury’s recommendations related to wage and benefit negotiations were already being implemented. The grand jury report, by its nature, contains criticisms and recommendations for improvement. Unfortunately, it does not stress the positives, such as the district’s solid finances and planned reserves, professional staff, excellent facilities and equipment, thorough training program, pro-active fire prevention programs, efficient response times, outstanding safety record, etc.

Our mission is to responsibly provide the highest quality fire and emergency medical response to our citizens. We have done that through careful planning and prudent spending on personnel and quality equipment and facilities. Stations have been strategically located to minimize response times to all areas of the district. Development impact fees paid for most of those facilities and equipment. Staffing levels have been determined to maximize safety and response effectiveness for our citizens and our personnel.

Importantly, the district has no debt, and has maintained and grown our reserves during the good times in preparation  for down times. The current economic downturn requires all agencies to examine their operations and adjust where necessary. We have been doing just that and will provide the detail in our response. We will continue to make necessary adjustments while maintaining the highest possible level of service to our residents. Remember, board members are residents too.”

Mike Roberts

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