San Francisco Presidio Fire Department Closes Amid Safety Concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Golden Gate National Recreation Area decided some time ago to contract out its fire services. That decision would become reality Wednesday, when the Presidio Fire Department was slated to close.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“As of Wednesday morning the fire station in the Marin Headlands will close. Fire protection will be coming from Southern Marin Fire based out of Sausalito,” explained Al Duncan, president of the Presidio Firefighters.

The GGNRA also contracted with the San Francisco Fire Department to cover incidents in the Presidio.

Duncan described it as a risky move that put peoples’ lives in jeopardy.

“Someone will die out there in the Headlands and when that day comes, unfortunately I want people to know that the men and women of that Presidio Fire Department gave their blood, sweat and tears and say we told you so.”

However, Presidio Communications Chief Howard Levitt dismissed that suggestion, maintaining that fire protection in the Marin Headlands wouldn’t be compromised.

“National park rangers and Southern Marin Fire will both be dispatched simultaneously to incidents so there will be a first responder on the scene very, very quickly.”

Levitt said response time to an incident in the Marin Headlands would be 10 minutes at most. Duncan countered that under the Presidio Fire Department’s watch, response time was mere seconds.

Levitt maintained that a top-notch team would be responding.

“Southern Marin Fire has 52 full-time employees including a full array of advanced medical responders”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Tom

    Create a contract with India and save money. Their response time might not be acceptable to most people due to the distance involved, but it is all about the bottom line.

  • John Q

    Hello KCBS folks, Howard Levitt works for the National Park Service, not the Presidio, get your facts correct…

  • Biff P.

    Those guys just sat around washing and fixing their cars at the station in the Marin Headlands. The change was long over due.

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  • HarryV

    Marin & Presidio Fire have not only had brilliant responses to all incidences, they have routinely been 1st responders to critical accidents on the GG Bridge and feeder highways to the bridge. They have provided excellent Service from minor to serious injuries, even outside of their primary area of responsibility, which has been a relief to other fire and medical responders freeing them to handle other incidences, which can be common place, especially during peak tourist seasons. Response, treatment, and/or transport charge to the recipient $0$ zero your tax dollars at work. Excellent Service, by an underpaid staff is the Presidio and Marin Fires Legacy. Contract services will not be free nor efficient ie. an almost out of control bush fire which could have been an out of control forest type fire, had the save not been made by the excellent service of the Presidio Fire backed by the Marin Headlands Station; Or the immediate response and extraction of trapped passengers in a tree plastered overturned vehicle.

    The Presidio Marin Community needs to have Very Serious Concerns, for Quality & Life. Rather than hedge bets against IMPENDING Disaster.

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