Two fire boards approve annexation of far east county fire district with larger Con Fire

Contra Costa Fire and East Contra Costa Fire Protection Districts to move forward with applications to Local Agency Formation Commission

By Steve Hill, PIO, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District & Steve Aubert, Fire Marshal/PIO, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) and East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) announced Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, their boards of directors have each approved resolutions for the annexation of ECCFPD into the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. The agencies are now expected to make applications to the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) for formal approval of the annexation.

“Annexation into Con Fire is a huge victory for the businesses and residents of East Contra Costa,” said ECCFPD Board of Directors President Brian Oftedal. “We explored every option to fix this historically underfunded district and provide a better service delivery model. Annexation will improve response times, open fire stations and provide a paramedic level of service for our communities.”

ECCFPD was formed in November of 2002 by combining the Bethel Island Fire District, the East Diablo Fire District, and the Oakley Fire District.  It serves Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron and the unincorporated area to the Clayton city limits.

ECCFPD Service Area Map.

“I am so excited and proud of the teamwork that has brought us to this point,” said District 3 Supervisor and Board Chair Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “With the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors acting as the Con Fire fire board unanimously approving the request to formally apply for annexation of ECCFPD, and the ECCFPD board voting unanimously to move forward, we are a giant step closer to providing improved fire and rescue services in East Contra Costa County.”

“I look forward to continuing to work to push this across the finish line,” she added.

Once approved by LAFCo, Con Fire will absorb the firefighting staff, support staff, facilities and equipment of today’s ECCFPD and the newly merged organization will provide improved fire and emergency services to the more than 128,000 residents of eastern Contra Costa County. The annexation approval process is expected to take four-to-six months followed by operational and administrative consolidation of the two entities.

“I am pleased by the decisions of the two agencies’ boards, approving our requests to formally apply for annexation of East Contra Costa Fire into Con Fire,” said Chief Lewis Broschard of Con Fire. “I look forward to now beginning in earnest the implementation of this long-studied initiative that will provide more effective, efficient and safer fire and emergency services across our county.”

Benefits of annexation for residents are expected to include more coordinated, cohesive and streamlined fire and emergency services. While both fire districts already work very closely on mutual aid assignments across current borders, each maintains separate operations, training and administrative functions, creating potential for economies of scale by bringing the separate operational entities under one administrative structure.

Another important benefit will be better alignment of firefighting models across districts that could net both increased fire services and improved firefighter safety. Annexation is also expected to reduce current burdens on the agencies’ busiest stations by increasing resources within Battalion 5 in East County.

ECCFPD Chief Brian Helmick. Official photo

“ECCFPD’s citizens and businesses are one step closer to receiving adequate fire and rescue service levels,” said ECCFPD Fire Chief Brian Helmick. “My staff and I will continue to diligently work to ensure the remaining consolidation processes go through seamlessly and in a timely manner.”

When reached for comment, he added, “it still needs both LAFCo and state Board of Equalization approval. It is anticipated both those processes will go smoothly and we expect to be one agency by March 2022. It’s just a process issue. At this time, we have heard of no opposition to either board’s identical resolutions.”

Asked about what his new position will be, Helmick responded, “that’s still being worked out. We’ll probably know what that looks like in the next couple months. They’re working on finalizing positions for many people in the organization.”

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, acting as the Con Fire Board, unanimously approved a resolution for Con Fire to annex East Contra Costa Fire in its regular monthly meeting on September 14, 2021.

The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District Board of Directors voted unanimously to move forward with consolidation with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District at a special Fire Board meeting on September 16, 2021. (See related article)

About Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) — A recognized fire service leader – – Con Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to more than a million people across its 304 square-mile District area, and through mutual aid, in and around the 20 cities and unincorporated communities of Contra Costa County, California. With few exceptions, county emergency ambulance transport services are provided by Con Fire through its unique sub-contractor Alliance model across the District and beyond to include some 520 square miles of the county. In 2020, the District responded to some 75,000 fire and EMS emergencies and dispatched some 95,000 ambulances, providing expert medical care on more than 74,000 ambulance transports. The District, with 26 fire stations and more than 400 employees, is dedicated to preserving life, property, and the environment.

About East Contra Costa Fire Protection District — The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) is a rural-funded fire district that currently operates three fire stations and has a three-station deficit. The district protects a population of more than 128,000 across its 249 square-mile service area. ECCFPD provides firefighting personnel, emergency medical services (basic life support) and fire prevention to the residents and businesses of the cities of Brentwood and Oakley, and unincorporated communities of Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron, Marsh Creek, and Morgan Territory. Learn more at or social media via Facebook (East Contra Costa Fire Protection District), Instagram(@east_contra_costa_fire), Twitter (@ECCFPD ) or our YouTube channel (East Contra Costa Fire Protection District).


the attachments to this post:

Chief Brian Helmick – ECCFPD

ECCFPD Service Area Map

confire & eccfpd logos

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