Fire department restructuring starts Sunday

The Costa Mesa Fire Department plans to begin its sweeping restructuring plan Sunday with the introduction of two ambulances leased from the Orange County Fire Authority.

The changes are scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. as the ambulances replace a basic life support engine and two advanced life support engine companies, according to Acting Deputy Chief Fred Seguin.

Staffing will drop from 29 to 27 on-duty firefighters at any given time citywide.

OCFA was set to auction off the two ambulances until CMFD decided to lease them instead of having new ones built, which takes about 210 days, Seguin said.

The new paramedic units will be based out of the Baker Street and Park Avenue stations.

Seguin said the Fire Department wanted to be proactive in implementing savings.

The restructuring, which the City Council approved in May, is rolling out in phases.

The first stage will save the cost of three captains and three fire engineers, equaling $965,000 a year in overtime, Seguin said.

In July a Fire Department representative is expected to address the council, which could approve more ambulances, he said.

Those ambulances would take about six months to build, and would be in Costa Mesa in January at the soonest. The next phase of the restructuring would likely be in April or May 2014.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @LAWilliams30

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