Public Safety

Supervisors Receive San Diego County Fire 5-year Strategic Plan

San Diego County supervisors received a five-year strategic plan Tuesday to continue improving firefighting and emergency medical services in unincorporated areas, provided by San Diego County Fire, the County Fire Authority-CAL FIRE entity the County has supported with more than $500 million since 2008.

The new plan runs from 2020 through 2025. It focuses on four objectives for the unified fire and emergency medical response Fire Authority that the County created in 2008 to unify and improve the uneven, disconnected administrative support, communications and training of individual rural fire agencies.

  • Support the health and professional development of San Diego County Fire’s employees
  • Further strengthen public safety and emergency response to protect the public
  • Help people and unincorporated communities become “resilient” — by preparing for disasters before they occur and becoming able to cope with disasters’ effects
  • Continue to provide organizational excellence and fiscal support to a fire entity that was forged by uniting different agencies, facilities, equipment and emergency capabilities

County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said Wednesday the strategic plan showed the County wasn’t “resting on its laurels” but continuing to improve fire and emergency response preparedness. Jacob championed the idea of merging unevenly funded, disparate volunteer rural fire agencies into a cohesive regional group for years before the Board’s 2008 vote.

“We’re not just celebrating our successes over the past 15 years,” Jacob said. “We’re actually moving forward to a higher level of preparedness and continuing to improve, continuing to invest in making sure that this region, all 3 million-plus people, (and) all the government agencies, are the best prepared that we can be. Not just for fire, but for any kind of disaster (that) may occur in the region.

“That’s what this is all about,” Jacob said. “It’s about saving lives; it’s about saving property and making sure that we work together to do that.”

CAL FIRE and County Fire Chief Tony Mecham told the Board Tuesday that San Diego County Fire now delivers cohesive fire protection and emergency medical services to 42 communities through 35 fire stations and more than 500 firefighters, emergency responders and personnel.

In 2016, the San Diego County Fire Authority received the highest possible rating for structural firefighting capabilities, among the top 10% in the nation, from the Insurance Service Office, an independent fire rating agency.

Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact