Fremont can’t afford to staff new fire station

This June, Fremont is scheduled to open a new fire station that it won’t be able to staff.

Fire Chief Bruce Martin told the City Council tonight that the fire department hasn’t been staffing the current fire Station 11 in the industrial zone west of Interstate 880 to save money on overtime.

A new Station 11 is under construction and is scheduled to be finished in June. The department will christen the building when its completed, but in all likelyhood it won’t staff it untill it can afford to.

Martin said  Station 11 gets thew fewest service calls because there are no residents nearby and most of the buildings have sprinklers.

For more on the fire station, click here.

Matt Artz


  1. The same thing has happened in San Jose. They have built a new PD substation in South San Jose, but will keep it shuttered due to budget cuts.

  2. In the comments section of Palo Alto Online, a contributor to the Children’s Theater had contacted a theater counterpart from out of state. The PA theater budget is over $1M. The out of state theater budget is $15K. Further inquiry revealed that the two theaters are almost identical in every aspect, except for the fact that PA has decided to have an overpaid staff, with some staff making 6 figures. The executor for the out of state theater asked if that $1M figure included building the damn thing.

    I think this same story and set of circumstances repeats itself over and over again in CA, and pretty much sums up the reasons we along with SJ and surely many other cities in CA will have a vacant fire stations. We pay people too much. Plain and simple. Until resident of this state come to the realization that there is nothing special ingrained in the fabric of this state that dictates that we should be paying orders of magnitude more than what people are worth, we will never remedy.

  3. I’m not sure that Marty’s comment is germane. There’s a pretty big difference between fire departments and local theater groups.

    It looks like the unstaffed station is in a business district. Do most of the businesses have sprinklers? How recently were they built, i.e. to what fire code were they built? What station services the residential neighborhoods to the east of Warm Springs Blvd? Do any of these neighborhoods have pools that are not attended by lifeguards? I’m thinking here that most fire calls are actually EMT calls….

  4. From your earlier entry:

    Station 11 is unstaffed during the day, says the chief. It’s the lowest demand district in Fremont. You know what that means? It means Fremont is building a new fire station that it won’t have the money or personnel to staff. Thanks to Mr. Wieckowski for that nugget. I’m going to have to separate that out.

    So to answer my earlier comment – it’s a business district, most businesses have sprinklers and it seems pretty certain that a fire station is not needed except for possible EMT to the neighborhood to the east of Warm Springs.

    How did this building happen? Love to know!

  5. Heather if you lived or worked in this area and had a medical emergency the there would be at least 3-5 min response differece from this station, which could be life or death.

    The Fire and Police are always in question until you need them.

  6. As evidenced by current headlines as well as the reported salaries and wonderful benefit packages of these emergency providers, SMALLS is obviously very mistaken.

    The kind of ancedotes s/he/it profers – “The Fire and Police are always in question until you need them.” – is exactly the kind of emotional banter that has been used for decades to rationalize what should otherwise be a *business* decision.

    The results speak for themselves . . . . pensions (first), salaries and other benefits of municipal employees are on track to bankrupt the very communities they service.

  7. This is the tip of the iceberg CalPERS has DEMANDED a
    additional 600 million dollars to cover there shortfall.
    CalPers Pensions are way out of line with private sector. This on top of Medical Benefits for life!
    Check the City budget and see what part of the budget is for retirement and health benefits for life.
    I agree with Bbox this will eventually bankrupt California.

  8. I guess Fremont better call on Alameda County Fire. Newark and Union City found it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars!!! And it increased service to it’s residents.!

  9. “I agree with Bbox this will eventually bankrupt California.”

    California cant file bankruptcy, but each and every city can. It’s entirely up to the unions. If the obligations cant be cleared by concessions, then cities as large as LA and SJ will go bankrupt.

    The result would remove unions from the public sector for a generation. California will be a “right to work” state in no time.

  10. Horribly written article by the way.
    There is a reason why the station was built there or it wouldn’t be built. The money for the station was raised through a bond that the residents of Fremont voted on (Measure R) back in 2002. No one anticipated a recession of this magnitude and for it to last for as long as it has.
    You also have to recognize that because there may not be residential neighborhoods where the station was built, I’m sure there are quite a few target hazard facilities along with HAZMAT facilities – not to mention the amount of people the industrial buildings house during the day that increase the calls for EMS services.
    Yes – EMS calls/services are 85%+ of the call volume of almost all fire departments in the United States.

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