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Jan 18, 2024

Valley Springs Fire Station Temporary Closures Could Be New Trend

Valley Springs Fire Station

Valley Springs, CA — Many are concerned that the Calaveras Consolidated Fire Department’s Valley Springs Fire station is temporarily closed, with a sign outside stating it is due to “staffing’ issues.

The department’s second fire station, in Jenny Lind, remains open.

The fire department is often used as a training ground, where interns come for a couple of years, and then leave for higher-paying jobs in other parts of the state.

Lt. Kayla Zimmerman with the Calaveras Consolidated Fire Department, who is also speaking on behalf of the firefighter union, says, “It is coming to the point where we really need to keep those people. We are spinning our wheels.”

In addition, two other staff members are currently on leave, due to family and medical emergencies. It drops the current staffing level down to 11 (including the fire chief).

Lt. Zimmerman stresses, “The closure is only when we cannot get staffing. So, the sign is going to continue to go up and down as the months go by.”

She notes that the sign was put up for transparency, and so that neighbors will not go there to request services.

Of note, during the last election cycle, Calaveras voters narrowly declined a one-percent sales tax measure to boost fire protection. Proponents are planning to try again during the upcoming March Primary election.

Lt Zimmerman stresses that the closure has nothing to do with the tax measure. Noting, “We had 182 calls just in July, alone, and that is in 163 square miles, with 15,000 plus people. It is just insanity to think that we would close a station for a political stance.”

She notes that it is “devastating” for the staff members to have to occasionally close the second station, as many live in the community, but it has become a new reality due to the current staffing challenges.

Written by BJ Hansen.

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