By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– In the latest action to establish its new City Fire Department, the Victorville City Council unanimously approved a five-year contract for emergency dispatch services with the Consolidated Fire Agencies (CONFIRE) Joint Powers Agency. CONFIRE, a joint powers agency consisting of the cities of Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands and San Bernardino County Fire, has provided emergency dispatch services to the City of Victorville for the past ten years through the City’s fire services contract with San Bernardino County Fire. The contract was approved by the CONFIRE Administrative Committee by a four to two vote.
City officials have long viewed emergency dispatch services as a critical step in establishing the new Victorville City Fire Department.
“We are very pleased to become a contract City with CONFIRE,” said Victorville Mayor, Gloria Garcia. “Based on the dispatching services CONFIRE has provided Victorville over the past ten years, we are confident they are the right choice to provide this critical service going forward and the right organization to work with our new fire department in ensuring the safety of the Victorville Community.”
In addition to its familiarity with and past service to Victorville, City officials also pointed to CONFIRE’s ability to provide priority dispatching and the use of vehicle locators for closest-unit dispatch as other advantages. With priority dispatching, fire and emergency resources will be dispatched to best meet incident need. For example, calls for a minor injury like a twisted ankle could receive assistance from an ambulance or paramedic squad, rather than running a fire engine. “We believe we will provide better service to our community and better dedicate our resources through a priority dispatch model,” said Victorville Fire Chief, Greg Benson. “We will dispatch the appropriate medical resources based on the severity of the medical emergency.”
With approval of the contract, Victorville becomes the largest contract agency of the CONFIRE JPA and the second largest agency based on call volume – second only to San Bernardino County Fire. Apple Valley Fire also contracts for emergency dispatch services from CONFIRE.
Hiring for the new Victorville Fire Department continues with testing for Captains taking place this week. The City already hired Fire Chief Greg Benson and Division Chief Fred Stout. Three battalion chiefs and the fire department’s training officer will be sworn in at an upcoming City Council Meeting.
On Jan. 16, the Victorville City Council authorized the re-establishment of a new city fire department for the purpose of operating a more efficient and cost effective fire service. Victorville is transitioning from contract fire services provided by San Bernardino County Fire to a city-run fire department. The Victorville City Fire Department will be fully operational March 30, 2019.
Located in Southern California at the high-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 125,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, other major attractions, and Ontario International Airport.