The City of Palos Verdes Estates contracts with Los Angeles County for fire suppression, enforcement of the Fire Code, and paramedic services. Concurrently, Los Angeles County also provides emergency ambulance service.
The City’s contract with Los Angeles County for fire service started in 1986 following voter approval of Proposition 13 (in 1978). Prior to 1986, the City provided fire services. Proposition 13 limited the growth of property taxes that created a structural fiscal imbalance that in turn made necessary to reduce costs and contract for fire protection. The Los Angeles County Fire Department staffs Station 2, located at City Hall, with a total complement of 15 personnel (3 Captains, 3 Fire Fighter Specialists, and 9 Fire Fighters) consisting of 5 individuals per shift.
The City instituted a variety of mechanisms to fund the cost of fire and paramedic services. During the 1980's, voter-approved parcel taxes for police/fire/paramedic and parklands maintenance covered a portion of the costs. In 1991 and then again in 1996, local property owners voted their approval of a Fire Suppression Benefit Assessment District (FSBAD) that covered 100% of the cost of the contract with Los Angeles County Fire through 2001. However, with statewide voters approving Proposition 218 in 1996, the FSBAD could only be used to fund fire protection, not paramedic service. Paramedic service represents 40% of the cost of the fire contract, and was deemed an essential service to continue providing. Therefore, in 2001, after examining long-term financing options, the City placed before voters a ballot measure to fund fire and paramedic services for 10-years through a special parcel tax. Local voters approved the tax, and renewed it again for 10-years in 2007. In March 2017, local voters did not approve an extension of the special parcel tax, so beginning in fiscal year 2017-2018, fire protection costs were paid from the City’s General Fund. The loss of the tax revenue caused a significant (25%) impact to funding for regular municipal services that subsequently necessitated budget reductions, Fund transfers, and the use of the City’s fiscal reserves. In April 2018, the City placed before voters a new 9-year ballot measure to restore the loss of funding and fix the structural fiscal imbalance. The special parcel tax was designated for the local Police Department and only to cover the shortfall caused by the 2017 ballot measure failure. The measure was approved by voters. The City’s contract with the Los Angeles County Fire Department is paid from the City’s General Fund, while a portion of police services is now paid by a special parcel tax.
As of January 2019, the City of Palos Verdes Estates is one of 11 cities in Los Angeles County that contracts with the County for fire protection. Through this special, contract relationship, the City has a strong partnership and connection with the LA County Fire Department and works closely through the County to provide fire and safety services.
One of the most important components of fire protection is prevention. Please click on the following links for information and tips about how to protect yourself, your family and your homes from a fire. One of the most helpful resources for information is: https://fire.lacounty.gov/ready-set-go.pdf. Since fire is not constrained by boundaries, it is incumbent on all residents to take the necessary and appropriate action to make our community fire resilient. Fire safety information can be found through the following links.
People often ask how they can minimize the risk of fire deaths in their home. The easy and very simple answer to this question is: Obtain a smoke detector. If you have a properly functioning smoke detector in your home or apartment, your chances of dying in a fire may be reduced by 50%. In almost 40% of all the reported fires, smoke detectors sounded and provided the first warning of a fire.
Hazardous Materials in the Home.
Hazardous materials in the home can be very dangerous not only to children, adults and pets living in the residence but also for the environment if materials are handled improperly. Common products within your home could make your home a potential site for a mini hazardous materials (hazmat) incident, particularly during an earthquake.
Pipelines may be located anywhere, including under streets, sidewalks and private property, sometimes just inches below the surface. Excavation, planting, demolition and other forms of digging are a major cause of pipeline damage. That’s why it is important to know where they are before you begin any type of digging.
A Parents’ Guide to Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers
My child is curious about fire. Should I be concerned? What can I do?
How to Recognize and Respond to a Natural Gas Leak
Spotting a dry patch of grass in your yard is one of many signs of potential gas leak. That’s why you should rely on all of your senses…
Working with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, our contractors, and the City’s urban forester, the City employs the resources available to prevent fires. The City regularly updates its building requirements for new construction to comply with fire prevention standards, trims and removes public trees as necessary, and conducts weed abatement on public property within 200 feet from structures. The City is in contact as necessary with California Water Service for maintenance of hydrants. Through the Police Department, the City also trains for emergency preparedness and has a number of resources for disaster response and communication including the availability of a variety of volunteer organizations and an emergency call-back system.
For more information about public safety, please call the Police Department at 310-378-4211.