Paso Robles News|Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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Emergency services chief gives update on status of department 

At Tuesday night’s Paso Robles City Council meeting, Chief of Emergency Services Ken Johnson gave an update on a report that was originally compiled in 2000. The city undertook a detailed analysis of the Department of Emergency Services resulting in a strategic plan, referred to as the Emergency Services Growth Management Plan, that was intended to guide ES’s development through the year 2020.

Ken Johnson

Fire Chief Ken Johnson

The report detailed the following seven recommendations:

1) Improve the quality and promptness of emergency service response to the level desired by the community
2) Reduce the growth of future fire risk through active mitigation efforts
3) Reduce the growth of emergency medical response
4) Improve the quality of training program management
5) Improve the quality of training
6) Improve emergency dispatch service
7) Improve capital asset management

Overall, training and response time has improved in the last 15 years, but the amount of firefighters on staff and necessary equipment is below projected suggestions.

Currently, there are two fire stations, with 3 firefighters, (one chief) staffed at any given moment. The 2000 plan projected hiring 35 firefighters in the 20 year period, which is higher than current staffing levels. The additional projected staff would be hired in part to staff an additional fire station that has yet to be built.

Johnson pointed out that 30 percent of the cost of expansions and improvements within the emergency services department would come from development impact fees, which come from new development.

The council decided unanimously to receive and file the report.

An organizational chart of  emergency services.

An organizational chart of emergency services.