Pinole -- Every second counts in an emergency.
Less than a mile from Fire Station 74, a medical call in the City of Pinole recently came through 911 to the Contra Costa County Regional Fire Communications Center operated by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire).
Had that call been placed a week earlier, a different station located about three miles away would have responded.
With the March 1 reopening of Fire Station 74, the city’s 19,000 residents will now have improved fire and emergency services. Contra Costa County’s Measure X funds are contributing $2 million to the station’s opening and continued staffing.
The reopening is part of a collaborative effort between Pinole and Con Fire with the latter providing all fire, rescue, and emergency medical services in the city as part of a new contract for services.
“We were able to get to that call and provide care much faster because of our new contract for services and the reopened Fire Station 74,” said Con Fire Chief Lewis Broschard. “This is about improving the quality of life for residents of Pinole and surrounding communities.”
Measure X is a countywide 20-year voter-approved half-cent sales tax and went into effect in 2021. Overall, the sales tax funds the county’s regional hospital; community health centers; crucial safety-net services; early child services; and other essential county services.
“The new service arrangement with the City of Pinole and the reopening of Pinole Valley Station
74 will improve fire and emergency medical services in West Contra Costa County and will save
lives and property,” said John Gioia, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and
Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Board. “Contra Costa’s Measure X sales tax and
the City of Pinole are jointly funding these improved and expanded vital services because we
place community health and safety first.”
Fire Station 74 was shuttered in 2011 because of budget cuts related to the Great Recession. The station’s reopening enhances fire, rescue, and emergency medical services throughout West County – staffed by an engine crew operating both a standard structure fire engine and a specialized wildland fire engine. Other added benefits of reopening include better coordination and a more cohesive, streamlined fire and EMS.
Located in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, the availability of a specialty wildland fire apparatus significantly improves response times to area wildfires, further improving safety for nearby residents.
Contra Costa County, the City of Pinole, and Con Fire implemented the contract on March 1 to more cost effectively provide all fire and emergency medical services in the city. The cost efficiencies, along with added Measure X funding, allowed the city to effectively double its fire resources by reopening Fire Station 74.
On March 1, Con Fire assumed responsibility for all firefighting staff, support staff, facilities, and equipment of the former City of Pinole Fire Department.