Fire

Some S.F. Leaders Want Failing Streetlights Added to Seismic Safety Bond

Josh Wolf, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 29 2014 - 2:26pm

A $400 million bond to improve emergency-response services and other public safety infrastructure in San Francisco will be on the June ballot, but Supervisor Scott Wiener said the bond should be expanded to fix hundreds of streetlights that have fallen into disrepair. The bond would include $70 million to repair and retrofit fire stations, $30 million for improvements to police stations and $65 million toward the construction of a new seismically sound medical examiner facility. It would also include $70 million in upgrades to the city’s alternative water supply system used to fight fires and $165 million for a new police building for traffic and forensic services. The proposal is the second in a series of Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response bonds that the city has proposed in order to cover the costs associated with retrofiting buildings and other infrastructure in preparation for a large earthquake.

California Carbon Trading Would Counteract Emissions From Expanded Chevron Refinery, State Says

Anna Vignet, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 5 2013 - 4:30pm

The hundreds of activists on hand Saturday at Chevron’s Richmond refinery to protest its contribution to global warming might be surprised to learn that California says it has found a way to control the company’s carbon footprint within the state, despite its plans to expand. 

Prop. B would fix emergency water system, move police command center

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jun 7 2010 - 3:55pm

A $412 million bond measure goes before San Francisco voters on Tuesday. The money would go toward the repair of the aging emergency water system and for replacement of the police department's emergency command center. The measure is considered a key component in getting the city ready to handle the next big earthquake.

The USGS forecasts a 66 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake hitting the Bay Area within the next 30 years.

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Fire department OT pay increased amid citywide budget cuts

Kevin Stark, The Public Press — Jul 15 2009 - 5:00pm

The San Francisco Fire Department is the only major city division whose overtime pay has grown in the last year -– straining the budget in a season when nearly every department has had to make painful sacrifices to help bridge a $438 million deficit.

And as politicians tussled last month with firefighters and police over more than $80 million in proposed cuts, neither side in the debate focused on what all acknowledge as a worrisome development: the expensive and unrestrained growth of firefighters' extra pay for working longer hours.

The unparalleled growth can be traced to a series of events. First, overtime spending spiked after voters passed a 2004 proposition requiring 24-hour staffing. Spending continued to climb in 2007, after Mayor Gavin Newsom and the fire union negotiated a large election-year pay increase for fire employees, while instituting a hiring freeze and mandatory overtime. The department said that was the right decision because paying overtime is cheaper than hiring new full-time employees with benefits.

Research and graphic by Mary Catherine Plunkett/The Public Press

The city's four other large departments -- police, sheriff, transportation and public health -- all managed to decrease overtime by an average of 21 percent in the last year. And they are slated for 39 percent in further cuts in the next year.

But firefighters racked up $26.4 million in overtime in fiscal year 2008-09, an increase of 14 percent. For the coming year, firefighters foresee a cut in overtime of 18 percent.

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