Many forces effect firefighter's ability to fight fires.
Fire and medical preparedness and response has improved greatly at all County departments over the last 20 years. However, there are economic, natural, and population issues which could deteriorate this improvement, and endanger lives and property.
Forces of Nature
- Our beautiful landscape of vegetation from the seashore to the mountains is located in canyons and steep terrain. Homes are built in and around this terrain.
- San Diego is in a semi-arid climate zone, so unless watered by homeowners, this vegetation is dry and very flammable.
- We are home to Santa Ana winds which can reach speeds of more than 80 miles per hour.
- We are isolated in a corner fo the United States with no firefighting resources to the west and south, and with limited resources to the east.
The economy has also put a severe strain on all our County fire departments. Fire departments receive their funding principally from property taxes. Due to the decrease in property values, these taxes are in some cases decreasing and in other cases not keeping up with the rising cost of fuel, insurance, etc. In 2011, these conditions caused The City of San Diego to close fire stations on a rotating basis.
With an increase in our County’s population, the number of emergency calls continues to increase. This results in more wear and tear on all fire trucks and rescue vehicles, as well as on all fire and medical equipment and supplies, plus more fuel usage and vehicle maintenance. Thus there is a constant need to replace and upgrade equipment and fire apparatus to keep the level of service up to what we have today.