A message from your Fire Chief and the firefighteers and
volunteers of Central Calaveras Fire
When you call 911, your local fire department has always been there to respond.
Now your fire department needs you to respond.
Without your help, after the end of 2017, there will be no paid local 24/7 fire and medical responders at your fire department. Coverage would be provided by volunteers who may not always be available.
The CalFire station at Sheep Ranch Road and Rail Road Flat Road is closed for the winter; right now there is no one there to respond to 911 calls. Central Calaveras Fire is staffed and ready, for now.
Lack of a full-time year-round fire department may make it more difficult and more expensive to get fire insurance.
Central Calaveras Fire & Rescue is the only year-round fire department serving the 4,000 residents and 96,000 acres of Mountain Ranch, Rail Road Flat, Glencoe, Sheep Ranch, parts of Moke Hill, and parts of San Andreas.
Central Fire is made up of a large team of unpaid volunteers plus three Fire Captains earning near minimum wage, a small group of resident firefighters working for a small stipend (less than minimum wage), a part-time Chief, and one administrative assistant. This highly trained group is there and ready 24 hours day, 7 days a week to respond to you, your family’s, and your friends’ emergencies: fires, accidents, medical – whatever comes up.
Unfortunately, without help from the communities Central Calaveras Fire serves, this will come to an end at the end of this year. Funding for two of the Captains had been provided by a grant and this grant has expired. Without them we cannot staff the fire station for all three shifts. Last month 61% of voters agreed to an additional $75 parcel tax to continue our 24/7 service but unfortunately it takes 67% approval to pass so we will not have this funding.
The hugely unpopular $150 state “Fire Prevention Fee”, none of which went to support local firefighting or emergency response, is now on hold until 2031 so you won’t have that expense in your budget. We are hoping that to help yourself, your family, your friends, and your community you will see fit to donate some or all of that to support your full-time fire department. Our volunteers donate thousands of hours to your community and we are asking you to donate a small amount of your money to help them help you.
Consider that a firefighter who gives hundreds of hours of their time is, in effect, donating thousands of dollars to the community - even if you only value their time at minimum wage. While few can make the time commitment that our volunteers do, most of you can participate in maintaining emergency response in your community by making a cash donation. Some responsibilities are too important to leave to “the other guy”.
Donations made to the Central Calaveras Firefighters Association, a 501(c)3, are tax deductible and 100% of all donations will go to maintain Central Fire’s operations. The Association is an all-volunteer organization with no administrative overhead. Their tax ID# is 45-2853418.
The District is looking into another ballot measure, but it cannot be placed on the ballot until November 2018. So in the interim to preserve these positions (and our successful Resident Firefighter program) I am asking that you consider donating the additional $75 that you would have paid by the special tax next year directly to the Fire District.
Until then you can help maintain the current staffing levels with a donation: