SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego's fire chief Wednesday endorsed Mayor Jerry Sanders' plan for ending staffing cuts that put fire engines out of service on a rotating basis to save money, and the Rancho Penasquitos station would be the first to benefit.
Staffing at fire stations has been reduced via "brownouts," in which eight engines companies are out of service daily. The tactic, rotating among 13 stations, was begun by the mayor to save $11.5 million.
He proposed restoring four engines when the new fiscal year begins July 1, and the rest on Jan. 1, 2012.
Engine 40 in Rancho Penasquitos will return to full-time service on July 1, he said. The station was selected as the first to be restored, because of the "poor response times we have there."
Engine 10, in the College Area, and Engine 44, in Mira Mesa, will be out of service less often, he said. Other staffing reductions will continue until Jan. 1.
The fire station in Rancho Penasquitos -- a hilly, spread-out bedroom community -- has some of the longest average response times in the city, more than 6 minutes. The average response time for the first fire vehicle to reach an emergency scene climbed 30 seconds after brownouts were implemented, according to the SDFRD.
"I would expect the response times to go back to where they were before the brownouts," Mainar said.
The plan by the mayor and fire chief needs approval by the City Council, but that is expected to be a formality. Council members have said ending the brownouts was their top budget priority.
Testimony continued Thursday in the civil lawsuit surrounding the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau as her boyfriend Jonah Shacknai took the stand.
The bulk of the rain is over however there will be another slight chance of light showers in the mountains late Saturday night into Sunday morning.
After weeks of school threats countywide, local leaders are announcing a plan of action to put a stop to it.
A man rescued by firefighters and a Sheriff's Deputy from a burning mobile home in Spring Valley was detained and being questioned Friday morning on suspicion of intentionally sparking the blaze, authorities said.
A group of North County lifeguards were honored Thursday night with the Medal of Valor for saving the life of a boater who wound up stranded on a jetty last October.
A San Bernardino man was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for carrying out a credit/debit fraud scheme that targeted retail stores, restaurants and hotels throughout San Diego County, prosecutors announced Thursday.
The defense team of a Marine accused in a fatal stabbing on a California Marine Corps base argued Thursday that the death was a tragic accident and the two friends were playing around with a knife.
A San Diego County sheriff's deputy was free on bail Thursday following his arrest by Riverside County authorities on suspicion of lewd acts with a child.
Some San Diego communities are pushing back against dockless bikes and scooters cluttering the streets and sidewalks.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with the Mexican foreign affairs secretary Thursday to discuss ways to improve economic prosperity and infrastructure, a spokeswoman said.