Official statement from Oxnard Firefighters Association President Jeffery Donabedian, re: Proposed Fire Department Budget cuts  

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OXNARD, Calif. (5/27/15) – The Oxnard Firefighters Association has represented the firefighters serving and protecting the City of Oxnard since 1967. In the following decades, we have seen many financial highs and lows as the City has faced those same financial challenges. During many of the financial lows, the Oxnard Fire Department suffered many service-level reductions in the way of a reduced operating budget, reduced staffing and even rolling brown-outs (station closures). During the financial highs, the City grew in both population and General Fund revenue and expenditures, yet the Oxnard Fire Department has remained as one of the lowest funded and under-staffed Fire Departments in the State of California.

Currently, the Oxnard Fire Department has difficulty meeting the daily demands for calls for service and cannot adequately staff daily, multi-unit responses in a proper amount of time. Failures of City leadership have created a service-level crisis in the Fire Department. These leadership failures are a major reason why the City of Oxnard has received two (2) Federal-SAFER grants to offset the costs of the proposed Fire Station 8. The Oxnard Firefighters Association provided the funding to train Fire Department employees to write these grants, and to date, have received over $12.5 million since 2007, with another $4 million in potential future grant awards

We want to be clear, our concerns over these budget cuts and services reductions is about Neighborhood Safety. As firefighters, we are the only public agency that not only works in your neighborhoods, but live there as well. Our fire stations are strategically located throughout Oxnard where we share those neighborhoods with our City’s residents and protect them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our fire stations are more than a “place of business”, they are far more than a “source of revenue” for consultants and politicians; they are your neighbors, and the firefighters who live there are your neighbors, and as any good neighbor would want, we strive to keep our neighborhoods safe and secure for all.

We, the Oxnard Firefighters Association, have done everything possible to ease the burden to the taxpayer all the while trying to maintain the excellent emergency services levels deserved by Oxnard’s residents. We strongly disagree with the proposed budget cuts to the Fire Department and reductions to service levels. There is nothing left for us to give except for layoffs and station closures, which could prove devastating to Oxnard’s neighborhoods and residents alike. We ask that the public please contact your local politicians and express your concerns. We ask that you stand behind your firefighters.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jeff Donabedian

President

Oxnard Firefighters Association L-1684

Special Supplement: Here is a highly detailed analysis: Fiscal Reductions for the OFD

 

Council meeting Tuesday June 9, 4:30 PM- AGENDA

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