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Imperial County Fire Department Station 1 extending temporary closure due to continued staffing shortages

Imperial County Fire Department Station 1 will not be in service until further notice due to a major shortage in personnel - CBS 13 on your side's Vanessa Gongora reports

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - The Imperial County Fire Department (ICFD) and Imperial County Firefighter's Association (ICFA) came to an agreement on April 30th, 2022 to "Brown Out" ICFD Station 1 located on 2514 La Brucherie Rd in Imperial.

A brown out is the temporary closing of a fire station when staffing is unavailable.

According to ICFA, the brown out was to be in effect for a 30-day period in order to alleviate the excessive forcing of personnel beyond their regular assigned work hours.

Members of the IFCA say they knew the importance of providing services to the people within Station 1 response area and were given the option to staff Engine 1 as long as other IFCD stations were fully staffed.

In the 30-day period, the Imperial County Firefighters were able to staff Station 1 for 23 of the 30 days, which equaled to 76% of the time, according to ICFA.

On the seven days that Station 1 was not staffed, services were still provided by the nearest Imperial County Fire Engines.

The engines that responded included Imperial County Fire Department Engine 4 from Imperial, Engine 3 from Seeley, and Engine 2 from Heber.

ICFA says these crews assumed an increase work load in order to maintain coverage within the ICFD Station 1 response area.

Because ICFD does not have enough firefighters and with the excessive over time, the ICFD and ICFA have verbally agreed upon extending the brown out of ICFD Station 1 until further notice due to continuing staffing shortages.

ICFA says at this moment, the Imperial County Fire Department remains short staffed by eight full time personnel and 11 reserve personnel.

The county is creating an eligibility list for firefighters. You can apply at https://hr.imperialcounty.org/job-openings/

"Your Imperial County Firefighters will continue to provide fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the best of their abilities in all response areas, and look forward to long term staffing solutions from the leadership of the County of Imperial," a statement from the ICFA.

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Vanessa Gongora

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