Tag Archives: Apple Valley ire Protection District

Apple Valley Fire Chief: Station isn’t closed

APPLE VALLEY • With persistent concerns over fire safety in town, Councilman Rick Roelle has questioned the status of a station that now often appears shuttered, asking for details on whether response times have slowed. A letter included in the agenda for Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting states fire station 336, on Yucca Loma Road near Apple Valley Road, isn’t closed. Instead, Chief Art Bishop with the Apple Valley Fire Protection District said it’s now staffed with 20 paid-call firefighters. A fire engine, water tender and other equipment are also still housed at the station. “As far as response times are concerned,” the letter from Bishop states, “the Fire District maintains, and remains committed to, the sub six-minute response, 90 percent of the time, within the Town of Apple Valley.” A report from AVFPD provided by Bishop shows response times dropped between 2008 and 2009, from an average in the high- and medium-density areas of 6 minutes flat two years ago to 5 minutes, 53 seconds in 2009.

Story by: Victorville Daily Press

Apple Valley Fire facing $1 million deficit

APPLE VALLEY • The Apple Valley Fire Protection District is looking at ways to close a $1 million budget deficit, with retirement incentives, employee furloughs and more on the table. Officials are hoping these moves will trim enough from the budget to avoid laying off any of the district’s approximately 80 employees, though that possibility was mentioned during a special meeting of the district’s board of directors Tuesday afternoon. Chief Doug Qualls said the AVFPD is working with a 15 percent deficit of its $7.6 million budget, and they anticipate another cut next year. Qualls cited declining property values as the main reason for the shortfall, with less revenue coming to the district as the value of homes — and therefore the amount of property taxes homeowners pay — has plummeted over the last two years or so. According to AVFPD employees, they were informed about the approximate $1 million deficit in a memo from Qualls early last month.

Story by: Victorville Daily Press

Apple Valley’s hot topic: Contracting with SBCo Fire

APPLE VALLEY • With the Apple Valley Fire Protection District looking to cut costs, one politically sensitive option being floated is the possibility of contracting with San Bernardino County for fire service, as every other Victor Valley city now does. Apple Valley Councilman Rick Roelle, then sitting as mayor, spearheaded a push to look at turning the local fire department over to County Fire last April. Roelle cited concern with the district’s finances and how it might affect its ability to provide service to residents. That suggestion drew sharp criticism from many residents, who insisted that the quality of service would drop without having a local fire department, and the idea died last June. According to County Fire figures, it takes roughly $1.3 million to $1.6 million a year to run a fully staffed fire station. The numbers from AVFPD were not immediately available. “The guys are going to do the best with what they got,” said Jake Salgado, president of the Apple Valley Professional Firefighters Association. “The fire district will deliver outstanding quality service regardless of how big or small the budget. We are being fiscally responsible to the community.”

Story by: Victorville Daily Press