Report: parts of San Diego lack adequate fire coverage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Report: parts of San Diego lack adequate fire coverage

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Six areas of the city of San Diego are in urgent need of improved fire coverage, according a report to be delivered to members of the City Council Wednesday.

The study by Citygate Associates, a fire consulting firm near Sacramento, found 19 neighborhoods where response times need to be improved.

The six most urgent areas, in order of priority, are:

- Home Avenue, a major thoroughfare through City Heights

- Paradise Hills

- The College Area near San Diego State University

- Skyline

- Encanto

- The west end of Governor Drive, near Regents Road, in the southern part of University City

"The city of San Diego does not have adequate fire station coverage in all areas, due to the inability to fund fire service expansion as the city developed," the report states.

The report, which will be delivered at the council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, acknowledged the city's perilous financial condition and suggests improvements could be phased-in.

Among the recommendations are to end the budget-cutting plan in which eight four-man engines are taken out of service at various stations to save on overtime expenses, or phase some of those engines back in.

The office of Mayor Jerry Sanders opposes ending the cutback, which saves the city $1.4 million annually per engine, for the current fiscal year.

Citygate also suggests creating nine "fast response units" made up of two firefighters, one being a paramedic. Four-man engines could also be added during peak periods for service calls.

More stations should be built as city finances allow, the report states.

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