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SDFD Chief Talks About Brownouts

Audio

Aired 2/8/10

If you live in the city of San Diego and have an emergency, it may take longer for a fire truck to reach you. The city has begun rolling brownouts of some fire stations.

— If you live in the city of San Diego and have an emergency, it may take longer for a fire truck to reach you. The city has begun rolling brownouts of some fire stations.

New Fire Chief Javier Mainar has been with the San Diego Fire Department for nearly 30 years.
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Above: New Fire Chief Javier Mainar has been with the San Diego Fire Department for nearly 30 years.

San Diego is implementing brownouts at fire houses with more than one crew. AS many as eight fire engines will be taken out of service each day. The plan was put in place to help fill the city’s multi-million-dollar budget gap. Fire-Rescue Chief Javier Mainar says he understands peoples' concerns about the reduction in service.

“But when you call 9-1-1, rest assured that we will be there to help you. No community lost their fire station as a result of these brownouts,” he says. “What will happen is if that fire engine in your community is busy, we will do as we do in all other fire stations in the city, send the next closest unit.”

Mainar says response times are a concern. The fire department has a goal of responding to calls within five minutes 90 percent of the time. But he says the department only meets that goal about half the time. He says he’s preparing for the brownouts to remain in place for the long term.

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