“I think it’s best to have a third party analysis, to come back and vet our numbers and OCFA’s numbers,” said Interim City Manager Jeff Collier. “There’s a lot at stake here.”
At the Jan. 18 meeting, OCFA officials said that city residents could see improved services by joining the fire authority and- perhaps most crucially for the cash-strapped city- see a marked savings in costs. The council asked city staff to come back with further research at that meeting.
The proposed move comes as the City Council considers how to deal with an ongoing budget deficit. Fullerton voters rejected a sales tax hike in the 2020 election.
If the proposal is adopted, it will mean an end to the Fullerton Fire Department, which has served the city for over 113 years. Under the terms of the agreement, all sworn firefighters would be absorbed into the OCFA.
The Orange County Fire Authority serves 23 cities and the unincorporated areas in the county, operating 77 fire stations.
The analysis and cost comparison of the OCFA proposal is expected to be sent to the city in approximately 60-75 days, after which the city council will further discuss the agreement.