The City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday, November 24 authorizing the Mayor to execute a five-year agreement between the City of Union City and the Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) for continued fire and emergency response services.
The new contract includes, but is not limited to:
- A commitment by the ACFD to explore a new model for providing emergency medical services with the aim to create added efficiency in response to medical calls for service, a majority of all calls.
- The operation of three fire stations in Union City staffed by three personnel per shift and two and half positions that administer fire inspections, prevention and code compliance.
- A response time standard to arrive on scene after dispatch within 8 minutes and 30 seconds at least 90% of the time.
- A continued minimum payment by the City to the ACFD of $201,688 annually to help pay down about $9.1 million in retirement liability costs. As of today, the City has contributed just over $1.5 million towards this liability.
This signing of the contract marks a major achievement between the City and the ACFD, as the ACFD has been operating on a month to month basis since September 2015 when the previous contract expired. The City first entered into a contract with the ACFD in July 2010. The ACFD has provided outstanding service to the Community since contract inception. A couple notable achievements include successful property conservation and rapid suppression at the Gem Street apartment fire, and swift, effective containment and perimeter control of a 30-acre grass fire. The regional approach to the fire service has provided the promotional opportunity of Battalion Chief for two personnel serving Union City.
When the City began facing a long-term structural deficit to its General Fund, it became a top priority of the City’s strategic plan to significantly reduce all departmental costs within the City including the contract with the ACFD, as a fiscal responsibility measure. Both the City and the ACFD are satisfied with how far they’ve come in their negotiations and are confident that the residents and businesses of Union City will continue to receive a high-quality service, while keeping costs down.
City Manager Joan Malloy expresses: “This is a great display of how two sides can work through the tough issues and ultimately, bring forward a solid plan to continue the exemplary services provided by the ACFD. We are truly thankful for our partnership with the ACFD and we know that the residents and businesses of Union City deeply appreciate their professional services.”
ACFD Chief McDonald states: “On behalf of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, I am pleased that we may continue providing services to the Union City community. As a partner in service, the ACFD recognizes the need to be innovative and collaborative despite the fiscal obstacles we all face. Our regional service model is the backbone of the Department’s ability to provide cost-effective and comprehensive services which would not be possible for an independent city to do on their own. Thank you for entrusting this important civic duty to the ACFD for another five years.”