Proposal would boost San Diego fire coverage more quickly, cheaply

San Diego’s efforts to boost emergency response times in the sprawling and increasingly congested city would take a big step forward under a new compromise proposal.


The proposal, created by the city’s independent budget analyst and endorsed by leaders of the Fire-Rescue Department, would boost response times in “gap areas” more quickly and cheaply than building all of the additional fire stations recommended last month by a consultant.

RELATED: Study says San Diego needs more fire stations, new approaches

The proposal includes covering six of 12 geographical gap areas with fully staffed new stations in the next few years, and covering the other six areas less aggressively with “peak hour” engines until the city can afford new stations there.

Peak-hour engines, which the city hasn’t previously used, would be deployed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to boost coverage when emergency calls are the highest during late afternoon and evening commute hours.

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The proposal doesn’t identify the six neighborhoods that would get those engines. But, based on the consultant’s report, they would be Pacific Beach, south University City, Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs and southeastern San Diego.

The new fire stations would be one already under construction in Little Italy and others planned in Otay Mesa, north University City, Black Mountain Ranch, Home Avenue in Mid-City and on the UC San Diego campus.

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