The City of La Verne engaged the services of a third-party consultant to provide a high-level review of the current service delivery model of and future options for the La Verne Fire Department (LVFD), as well as information on the possible annexation of the fire and emergency services provided by the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County (Fire District). This Fire Department Service Deployment Review report has been completed and made available on the City’s website for review by La Verne residents, who are invited to share their feedback and comments by September 28, 2020.
“We initially requested a feasibility study from the Fire District to better and more thoroughly understand the fire protection, paramedic and incidental services they could offer our community,” said Bob Russi, La Verne City Manager. “From there, Messina and Associates examined the Fire District’s options, as well as analyzed current internal operations to provide perspective on both delivery model options, culminating in this report.”
The report findings highlight the fact that modern fire service has evolved into one that is considered to be All Risk, which means that firefighters are now tasked with fire prevention and suppression, as well as providing emergency and medical services to residents. These additional service demands on fire departments, it states, place an increasing amount of pressure on cities attempting to deliver a level of service that is able to provide for public safety as well as the safety of their firefighters. It also puts a strain on already limited staffing and funding resources.
Therefore, the report explores two options for providing these essential services to the La Verne community – move to engage the Fire District to provide fire protection services to the City or continue to utilize the LVFD to provide those services and commit to an effective reorganization plan. The fundamental question the analysis brings forward to assist with selecting a service model is this – is the higher order value for the Council and community the desire to provide a highly functional fire department in a relatively short time frame despite the extra expense via the Fire District, or is the desire to maintain local control of the City’s fire services which directly impacts the scalability of resources and services, as well as budget?
The La Verne City Council will be reviewing and discussing the report findings at a study session on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 6 p.m. It is important to note that a final decision on a service delivery model will not be determined at this time. La Verne residents are encouraged to watch the Council Meeting Live Stream on YouTube and participate in the meeting. More information on how residents can participate in the meeting can be found here.
Even if La Verne residents are unable to participate in the August 25 City Council study session, they are encouraged to review the report in full and follow up with City staff with questions and comments via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 28, 2020. This feedback will help the City Council determine community priorities that, mixed with the options, advantages, considerations and challenges detailed in the report, will allow them to make the appropriate decision as to further pursuing annexation with the Fire District or continuing direct service delivery through LVFD.