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Senator Feinstein Says San Diego Lacks Necessary Firefighting Resources

California Senator Dianne Feinstein told San Diego leaders this morning that the city's fire services have been underfunded for years. Her comments came at the opening of a hearing to look into the ha

California Senator Dianne Feinstein told San Diego leaders this morning that the city's fire services have been underfunded for years. Her comments came at the opening of a hearing to look into the handling of last month's wildfires. KPBS reporter Amita Sharma is covering the hearing.

Feinstein said the purpose of today's hearing is to honestly assess the strengths and weaknesses of firefighting capabilities at all levels.

She says San Diego has 35 percent fewer fighters than other large cities in the United States.

The national emergency response standard is five minutes. Feinstein said the San Diego Fire Department meets that standard only 47 percent of the time.

The Senator said the city needs at least 800 more firefighters and 22 more stations. She also pointed out that San Diego county is only one of its size that doesn't have its own fire department.

Feinstein told city and county lawmakers she is not talking down to them. Feinstein, who got her start in politics as a San Francisco Supervisor, reminded them that she too comes from local government.