By Chief Steve Abbott
As a 29-year veteran of North County Fire and your Fire Chief since 2015, I have had the honor and pleasure of serving this uniquely special community that I have called home since 1990. Since the Fire Department organized its first formal volunteer fire-fighting force in 1927, it has grown by leaps and bounds, expanding to 5 stations staffed by full-time, professionally-trained firefighters and paramedics, offering state-of-the-art fire and emergency medical services and second-to-none customer service. It is among these reasons that my wife and I plan to retire here someday.
We, as a community, have endured a great deal of change and challenges, much of which has occurred in roughly the last decade, including two catastrophic wildfires and closure of Fallbrook Hospital in 2014. Having led and lived through these challenges up close and personal, they have left an indelible impression upon me. Collectively, these have simultaneously strengthened and strained our community. Consequently, it has been my personal mission to rectify their effects.
To this end, we have enacted many changes within North County Fire, which you will read about in the present edition of the Journal.
The proud men and women of North County Fire have made sacrifices to ensure that we continue to deliver the same top-notch, caring service to which the community has grown accustomed to. I firmly believe that the service provided by our men and women is among the reasons why this community is so special, and attractive, to so many as a place to call home.
As one of the original 10 firefighters/paramedics that helped start our paramedic program nearly 30 years ago, I take pride in how far we have come. We started this program without asking taxpayers for assistance and have successfully operated it since that time. We now have in place various agreements that will allow us to take community par-medicine to the next level, so that we can continue to deliver caring, progressive, and efficient care.
For the reasons stated above, we now ask the community to consider Prop A. This measure will help us address the years of deferred maintenance at the North County fire stations. We need these improvements to continue to serve the District.
In so doing, we can bring our fire stations up to current industry standards, so that we can maintain (if not improve) response times, keep our stations maximally operational, and our crews and fellow citizens safe.
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