A message to our family, friends, and neighbors in the Julian-Cuyamaca community, throughout California, and across the United States:

 

The men and women of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District are facing an illegal government takeover of our volunteer fire department — San Diego County’s last volunteer department — and that’s putting the public at risk.

 

Throughout our history, JCFPD has been responding to emergency calls in our community: heart attacks, car crashes, wildfires, you name it. More than 60 members strong, we proudly serve everyone in the community — whether local or visitor, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of culture or creed. We are woven into the community’s fabric and remain in the station ready to serve in the event of an emergency.

 

Legal documents and bureaucrats call this place a “special district.” We call it “home.”

 

Normally we’d be waiting here in the station until someone calls in need of help. Our history has always been responding to calls for help. But today is different.

 

Today we are asking you for help. Today we are the ones who desperately need your help.

 

We were formed years ago by this very community because everyone knows, in our remote part of the county, that local knowledge of the area means getting to each emergency faster than any outsider could. Our knowledge can literally mean the difference between life and death.

 

Unfortunately and inexplicably, the county government has placed this community at grave risk by illegally “dissolving” our department and handing over all fire and EMS responsibilities to a state bureaucracy. Our lawyer (Cory Briggs) informed the county that finishing the dissolution process would be illegal because a judge had ruled three days earlier that the decision to start the process was “null and void.” Yet within minutes of ignoring the judge’s ruling and declaring our department dissolved on paper, the county sent armed sheriff deputies in body armor to forcibly remove us from the stations. They broke through a window at one station and took it over.

 

We have locked ourselves in the remaining station not in protest or defiance, but in order to ensure that the people who can best respond to an emergency are here to do so when the call comes. We have the training, experience, facilities, and equipment to keep our community safe. The county bureaucrats, and the state agency they are paying to take our place, do not.

 

We are peaceful. We are not armed. We wish no harm to anyone. We will abide by the court’s rulings.

 

However, even though we have confidence that our lawyer is doing the best he can under the circumstances, we do not have full faith in the legal system. The county has an army of lawyers. County officials have knowingly pushed the dissolution process forward even though they knew there was a legal challenge to the decision to start the process. Nobody at the county cared. They decided to take control over the department and its money long ago, no matter how that legal challenge ended and no matter how poorly served the community would be with us gone. And when they were not distorting existing rules to their advantage, those officials were literally writing new one-sided rules to hurt us.

 

Yes, the community won the first legal battle. But county officials continue to manipulate the legal system; their lawyers call us “the crazy people at the Julian FD.” In the end, we might not win this war.

 

So while we are hopeful that justice will eventually be done in the courtroom next Wednesday, we cannot be confident. The best chance for our community to prevail against this hostile government takeover is for you to contact all five county supervisors — right away, please — and tell them that you #StandWithJCFPD.

 

Every one of us has pledged to protect this community. But after last Monday’s vote to complete the illegal dissolution, the county indicated that we no longer have legal protections as firefighters and paramedics.

 

What if there is a car crash with injuries or a house catches on fire? According to the county, we have no legal right to respond. By using the department’s equipment and vehicles, we could be prosecuted for vandalism or theft. By performing CPR, we could be prosecuted for assault and battery. By putting out a fire started suspiciously, we could be prosecuted for interfering with a crime-scene investigation. The county has put us in the gut-wrenching position of having to decide between losing our life’s savings and our freedom versus coming to the aid of people needing emergency assistance. What kind of a government does that to constituents and first-responders?

 

If you think that prosecution isn’t a real threat, remember that the district attorney is an elected official just like the county supervisors and was their chosen successor to the previous district attorney when she retired. And despite all the local news coverage, the new district attorney has not called our fire chief or our lawyer to assure us that we remain free to help if the need arises. In fact, the station we occupy is under law-enforcement surveillance around the clock.

 

Below is the contact information for all five county supervisors. Please contact them and tell them two things: that you stand with JCFPD, and that you want the dissolution undone immediately. The politicians have the power to turn back the clock. If they hear from enough of you, we think they will do the right thing. But they are incapable of finding either courage or urgency without a groundswell of public outcry the likes of which they’ve never seen.

 

We also have a message for the law-enforcement personnel assigned to monitor the station we occupy: We know you disagree with the assignment. Like the broader community, you too are our brothers and sisters. Like us, you took an oath to protect and serve. We have seen each other many times in the field, worked with each other countless times, responding to community emergencies. We know you are only doing your jobs, that you have to follow orders. We harbor no ill-will toward you. We are eager to get back to our regular duties, working side by side with you protecting and serving the public when crisis arises.

 

Here is the contact information for the five county supervisors. Thank you for standing with us.

 

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Supervisor Greg Cox

greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov

Phone: 619-531-5511

Twitter: @supervisorcox

 

 

Supervisor Dianne Jacob

dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov

Phone: 619-531-5522

Twitter: @dianne_jacob

 

 

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar

kristin.gaspar@sdcounty.ca.gov

Phone: 619-531-5533

Twitter: @kristindgaspar

 

 

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher

Nathan.Fletcher@sdcounty.ca.gov
Phone: 619-531-5544

Twitter: @supfletcher

 

 

Supervisor Jim Desmond

Jim.Desmond@sdcounty.ca.gov

Phone: 619-531-5555

Twitter: @jim_desmond

Volunteer Fire Departments Rule

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of volunteer firefighters have more than 5 years of service. There are an estimated 29,727 fire departments in the U.S. Of these, 2,651 departments were all career, 1,893 were mostly career, 5,421 were mostly volunteer and 19,762 were all volunteer.

Recruitment

Come join us as a Volunteer or as a Reserve.

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History

The Town of Julian is a California Historic Landmark (old gold mining town) and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Lake Cuyamaca is popular for fishing, camping, hiking and horse riding trails. JCFPD is responsible for fire protection and emergency medical services for the residents in this geographic area, as well as the influx of tourists and motorcyclists.

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JCFPD has filed a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court

JCFPD has filed a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court to have LAFCO’s dissolution proceedings declared illegal. LAFCO knew that JCFPD’s dissolution application had been submitted illegally after three former board members conspired with Supervisor Dianne Jacob to eliminate local control over fire-protection and emergency medical services. Last Friday a judge declared the three former board members’ actions “null and void” because they had conceived of their dissolution plan in secret. When JCFPD’s lawyer notified LAFCO this morning that the entire process was the product of illegal conduct by prior JCFPD officials, LAFCO ignored the lawyer and unanimously voted against the Julian and Cuyamaca communities.

One hour before that vote and against immediately afterward, LAFCO and the County took steps to remove JCFPD personnel from their fire stations and to seize JCFPD equipment and property. LAFCO and the County sent armed Sheriff Deputies to intimidate the unarmed JCFPD personnel who were peacefully trying to secure their facilities and equipment while the new lawsuit works its way through the courts. When asked, the Deputies admitted that they were taking orders from the County in removing JCFPD personnel from their own facilities.

There will be a new hearing on April 17, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-64 of the San Diego County Superior Court (downtown) at which JCFPD will ask a judge to allow JCFPD to continue its operations without LAFCO or County interference. Parties are to maintain the status quo until them

TRO_Prop_Order

TRO_P&A_FINAL_ALL

TRO_Application_Signed

Complaint_Filed

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An article in the San Francisco Chronicle on volunteers

As California burns, volunteer firefighters become harder to find.

Quote from San Francisco Chronicle article by Melody Gutierrez and Megan Cassidy 

“One-third of the 28,000 firefighters in California are volunteers, most of them in rural areas. Across the country, where 70 percent of firefighters are volunteers, departments say they are struggling to recruit new people for a dangerous job. The number of volunteer firefighters in the United States fell by 10 percent over the past three decades, even as the number of emergency calls tripled, according to the National Fire Protection Association, an industry trade group whose figures are often cited by the federal government.”

This trend does not seem to apply to the JCFPD. We just graduated 21 new firefighters from our Fire Academy March 3rd, and will be starting another academy next month. Since we put the word out we are looking for volunteers we have had nearly 80  applications in the last two months to come work for our community Fire Dept.. These new volunteers are an awesome group and very motivated to serve our the people in our community.

Vote NO on Measure A and keep JCFPD and all our Firefighters who want to work to serve our community without benefit of pay. This is the American way to serve and protect our  community.

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Fire Fighter Association gets presents ready for children of Julian/Cuyamaca

In a tradition started by Chief Kevin Dubler, just a few weeks ago #JCFPD firefighters did a boot drive to raise money to buy presents for the children of Julian. They stood on the street and stuck out the boot to help kids in Julian have a good Christmas!

Then they shopped and planned, making sure about 40 kids have some of their list to Santa filled! Firetrucks, Barbie houses, race cars and books were checked off the list. Saturday a jolly group of community members and firefighters joined for a wrapfest! There was joy, tape, and carols all round. Merry Christmas and to all a good night!

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Cal Fire Needs $234M Before Fall Fire Season

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Cal-Fire-Needs-234M-Before-Fall-Fire-Season-492639021.html

The California agency that fights wildfires says it’s about to exceed its budget and needs $234 million more.

Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott says in a letter to lawmakers Thursday that the agency spent $432 million through the end of August and had only about $11 million left.

Fire season generally picks up in fall, when winds and high temperatures can combine with dried-our forest and grasslands to create dangerous conditions.

Pimlott says Cal Fire would use some of the money to add firefighters and helicopters.

The Legislature budgets for firefighting based on the historical average costs. Cal Fire has requested extra money in seven of the past 10 years, but never this early.

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Cal Fire almost out of money, agency says

https://www.10news.com/news/cal-fire-almost-out-of-money-agency-says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGTV and AP) — Ahead of a fire season that usually picks up in the fall, Cal Fire says it’s almost out of money.

The agency’s director Ken Pimlott said in a letter to lawmakers that the agency spent $432 million through the end of August, leaving only about $11 million left for the rest of the year.

Cal Fire says it needs roughly $234 million more. The agency plans to use the additional funds to add firefighters and helicopters.

Fire season generally picks up in the fall, when high temperatures ad winds combine with dry forest and grasslands, creating dangerous conditions.

Cal Fire has requested extra money in seven of the last 10 years, but this is the first time the agency has asked for additional funds this early.

The legislature budgets for firefighting based on historical average costs.

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