News Update!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Fire Department response to last Saturday’s fire.

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News Update!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Fire Department response to last Saturday’s fire.

ZachNews has received an email from San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain response to our questions regarding the fire that happened on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 in Downtown Needles, California.

– Question 1: What’s the latest information regarding the fire?

The fire has been completely extinguished. The crews have been doing periodic patrols of the structures to verify 100% suppression of the event,” said San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain.

– Question 2: Was this fire arson?

The fire is believed to be Arson in nature. It was originally thought and investigated that a suspect was still in the area. However, the reports turned out to be unsubstantiated. In addition, there were no utility hookups at the main house fire. There were reports however of “transient” activity at the time of the incident. Activity of suspicious nature should be reported to the San Bernardino County Sheriff as soon as possible.

– Question 3: Residents are expressing anger about the fire department’s response time to this fire. What is your responses to residents who are upset and even mad at the response time by fire department?

I will respond to this by saying that both E31 and BP31 were returning from a victim of a fall on the I-40 freeway near Goffs Rd. This person had experienced a fall on the from a motorcycle at road speed and her injuries were considered “Life Threatening” in nature. BP31 arrived on scene at just under 10 minutes from time of dispatch. As per the normal procedures, our automatic/mutual aid agreements were set in motion upon initial dispatch, without delay,” said San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain.

– Question 4: Dose this prove the concerns raised by members of the Needles City Council about having extra or another fire apparatus here in town when a call is on the interstate?

San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain added, “This does in fact support the questions raised by the City Council and citizens about the County Fire Department responding to the I 40 and Hwy 95 corridors. As I have previously stated, should a unit be dispatched to those areas once we have moved to a single Paramedic Engine company in the City of Needles, the responding Captain or Battalion Chief would start a move up company from one of the surrounding County Fire Stations. With the County Fire Department switching to the new single unit station model for the City of Needles, I too am concerned about the safety and well-being of the community. As I presented to the City Council several meetings ago, the City of Needles was presented with the costs associated with maintaining the same level of service at approximately $1.2 million dollars annually. The City of Needles represented that they could not in fact afford this cost. The County Fire Department in response proposed the permanent annexation of just over $582,000 annually. This would fund 1 of the 3 per day at the Needles Fire Station. The County would be paying for the other 2 remaining positions. The tax revenue to the surrounding areas are what provides the cost for 1 of the 2 positions. The remaining funding is made up for out of the San Bernardino County General Fund, which is afforded through support of your locally elected Board of Supervisor. As additional revenues are generated and afforded to the San Bernardino County Fire District, additional resources, with the appropriate deployment modeling will be put in place. As far as law enforcement being on scene prior to the fire department, this is not an uncommon occurrence. Patrol deputies are doing just that, patrolling. They also by law receive the call first through their dispatch center as the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) and have the call prior to us.”

ZachNews has some more questions regarding the funding for equipment and vehicles, emergency dispatch issues, and the new fire station which ZachNews sent those questions on Monday, June 15th, 2015.

ZachNews got an email back from San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain with the following saying, “I’ll work on these tomorrow Zack. I must make a correction, in that BP31 was it on the call at Goffs, only Engine 31. BP31 had just completed training in town and was out at the County yard on Airport Rd attempting to refuel at the time of the fire. Their response time from there was 9 minutes 54 seconds. Thanks.”

** As of 3:00pm PT on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015, ZachNews has not received a response by San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain to our questions or for information on the response time as. **

Stay tuned for those questions when they come into ZachNews.

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