AFD Staffing as Compared to Similar Cities

News Analysis

While the populations of the three cities are about equal, the fire departments of Redwood City and Mountain View employ far less staff than the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) as comparisons have shown. According to US census records, in July 2011 Alameda had 74,774 residents with 75,235 people living in Mountain View and 77,745 in Redwood City.

A 2008 report completed by the ICMA, a consulting services group the city employed to examine AFD's organizational development, concluded that the department should have a standard staff of 86, including a fire chief, two deputy chiefs and five captains.

When compared with the cities of Redwood City and Mountain View, AFD serves the smallest city of the three with a staff of 118, 33 more than Mountain View, which staffs 86 and 49 more than Redwood City, which staffs 70.

AFD provides fire and emergency medical service (EMS) from four stations, three on the main island and one on Bay Farm Island. Both Mountain View and Redwood City have five stations. Because these cities have roughly the same population you would expect that the cities would structure their fire departments in the same manner, and they do. By comparison, however, Alameda has more people on staff.

AFD has 20 captains (two in the office and eighteen on shifts) whereas Redwood City and Mountain View each has 18 captains. According to its online report the Redwood City Fire Department has 39 firefighters Mountain View has 30 and AFD, according to the Tri-Data Report has 43 firefighters.

More on this report will appear here next week.

 

Comments   

 
-1 #2 John Piziali 2012-08-22 18:02
Good article, I hope that in the next two you can show some more comparisons, such as what type of residential areas, how many multi- story buildings, and any other things to look at to answer the question as to why Alameda has such a different fire service. So far very interesting.
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0 #1 Seth 2012-08-17 14:29
And how many of those 43 firefighters are helping to staff 24/7 ambulance service? Of the three agencies listed in this piece, Alameda is the only one to list 911 ambulance service on it's web page. Alameda's ambulance firefighters probably rotate between ambulance, fire engine and fire truck duties. This article reads like a "gotcha piece " but I'm not sure the author is really comparing apples to apples.

Also, you're using ICMA. Consider the source.

I would prefer to keep all of our firefighters on duty. Thank you.
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