Fire Station 30 operated by the Alameda County Fire Department is set to close Wednesday, January 15. The decision to close Fire Station 30 was made by the City Council in July 2019 after an independent study showed that the station was handling on average only 1.7 calls per day at a total cost of $3.2 million a year. The study looked at all four fire stations in Union City examining calls for service data to understand if the deployment of fire department resources were effective and cost-efficient in providing fire and medical response to residents.
Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci states, “We are indebted to the firefighters for keeping our residents safe during medical and fire emergencies; however, the City Council’s job is to be responsible fiscal agents of City resources. We have been examining all city services in the last year to understand where we can be more efficient. Changes are being made citywide, not just with the Fire Department. The reality is that Fire Station 30 was underutilized at a high cost to residents. We are confident that we made a decision that was in the community’s best interest. Our attention now is shifting. Union City is excited to be participating in an important discussion with emergency medical service professionals from around Alameda County regarding how we can set up a service model that actually meets the growing medical needs of our community at a more affordable cost.”
Extensive public outreach was carried regarding the City Council’s decision to close Fire Station 30. Over 30 community presentations and meetings were held with community groups on the topic; a citywide mailer was sent out to all residents; and, a website was set up to serve as a resource for those interested or concerned and to capture feedback. The City heard from many residents who wrote in asking questions about the decision and sharing their feedback, to which all residents were responded to. Generally, residents have come to understand the City Council’s decision through this outreach process.
The independent analysis was conducted by the Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) – a nationally recognized organization that helps local government agencies to improve their public safety service delivery model and plan for the future. The analysis determined that Fire Station 30 located at the border of Union City and Fremont is underutilized and not needed. Fire Station 30 is located at 35000 Eastin Court.
Fire services in Union City are provided to residents through a contract with the Alameda County Fire Department. During the City Council’s discussion on the topic back in July 2019, the City Council also heard the findings from 2017 report commissioned by the Alameda County Fire Department and conducted by CityGate Associates, LLC that reviewed the adequacy of current fire station resource deployment system for areas served by the Alameda County Fire Department, the risks to be protected, and the emergency incident outcomes desired by the community. The CPSM report focused on deployment of fire services to Union City; whereas, the CityGate Associates, LLC report examined the standards of coverage throughout Alameda County.
After hearing the information, the City Council gave direction to staff to craft a closure plan at a July City Council meeting. A closure plan was developed in coordination with the Alameda County Fire Department and was formally approved in a 5-0 vote by the City Council on October 8, 2019. Personnel and equipment from Fire Station 30 will be transferred to other Fire Department locations within Alameda County.