The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a contract between the Riverside County Fire Department and the city of Riverside to establish the municipality’s fire agency as the one chiefly responsible for handling emergencies within a designated area surrounding March Air Reserve Base.

The “Automatic Aid Fire Protection Agreement” received unanimous support from the board, without comment.

Under the inaugural five-year compact, city fire personnel will respond to blazes, perform technical rescues and carry out medical duties over a thousand-acre space on the west side of the air base, bounded by Alessandro Boulevard to the north, Van Buren Boulevard to the south, Interstate 215 to the east and the Orange Grove community to the west.

“The county and the city will benefit with the automatic aid … by securing aid in fire protection, protection of life and property, and in firefighting and providing medical aid for the residents and visitors to the area,” according to a county fire department statement posted to the board agenda. “The automatic aid … will also create a greater and better relationship between both parties.”

The March Joint Powers Authority, which oversees civilian assets associated with the air base, backed the compact.

According to officials, most of the service area that will be the city’s responsibility beginning Jan. 1 is composed of unincorporated county land between Moreno Valley and Riverside. Two Riverside firehouses are nearby, while county fire crews are sometimes dispatched from Perris to handle emergencies in the area.

The agreement acknowledges that county fire crews may still be sent to the automatic aid zone, primarily when municipal crews are busy responding to calls within city limits, or are stretched thin meeting other obligations.

The contract calls for $87,826 in annual payments to Riverside for servicing the location. However, the compensation may adjusted based on workflow and other projections.

The county and city will continue to maintain a mutual aid pact, which specifies that either may supplement the other’s resources during major emergencies.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *