Calaveras is served by 10 fire departments. Each department is overseeing by a responsible independent board of directors accountable to voters. Each station is supervised by a fire chief with the administrative and technical experience and the qualifications required by the State of California and Federal government.
Most Firefighters are young people who have responded to a call to serve their community. They train almost every day and must pass a Fire Academy and various examinations required by authorities in order to serve you. These are the calls they serve.
Calaveras County’s local fire protection agencies are underfunded.
Calaveras County fire agencies depend on each other.
Many engines are only staffed with two firefighters, so it is not until a second engine arrives that enough firefighters are on hand (four) to safely make an interior attack on a structure fire. Most of the time, the second, third and fourth engines on scene are from agencies outside the local district. Although a few agencies in Calaveras County do have paid firefighters, even they do not have enough paid firefighters to staff engines at either the minimum (three firefighters) or the standard (four firefighters) recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.
Help our firefighters to help us
This measure would provide funding to improve emergency response in all nine local fire districts as well as the municipal fire department in Angels Camp. Based on actual sales tax distributions, a 1-cent-per-dollar sales tax during the 2020-21 fiscal year would have provided $5.68 million, enough when distributed to allow each fire agency to address its needs, such as purchasing equipment, repairing facilities, incentives for volunteers, hiring firefighters for entry-level wages to staff stations 24-hours a day, hiring firefighters to increase the number on engines, or addressing other limits to recruiting, training, equipping, housing and retaining firefighters.
Calaveras County is a tourist destination.
Local fire agencies each year provide aid to many visitors. A sales tax increase for fire protection would mean that visitors to the county would contribute toward services they use.
Benefits of the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Tax Initiative include:
- A stable source of funding for first-line fire agencies.
- Faster and expanded mutual aid response for larger emergencies.
- Giving districts the ability to keep experienced firefighters.
- Creating living wage jobs for young adults in Calaveras County.
- Keeping local firefighters here in-county at times when Cal Fire sends its resources elsewhere.
- Tourists and other visitors would pay into the costs of emergency services they receive.
Fire Department Emergency Calls
Calaveras Fire Tax Revenue
Based on actual sales tax distributions to Calaveras County ad Angel Camp reported by the California Dept. of Tax ad Free Administration, here’s how much revenue a 1-pehy-per-dollar sales tax increase would have generated for fire protection i three recent fiscal years (july 1 to June 30)
If allocated with 69% divide evenly among the agencies, 1% to San Andreas Fire to compensate for the burden of protecting countywide infrastructure including the jail, hospital and government center, and the remaining 30% allocated proportionately by district population.