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San Francisco Presidio Fire Department Closes Amid Safety Concerns

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(CBS)

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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