Created in the early 1980s, the Planning Division was originally formed to provide the Department’s executive staff with support staff to function independently from any departmental bureau. The Division was designed to strengthen the Department’s administrative structure with its primary focus on administrative analysis and resource planning. After going through several years of transitions, the Planning Division has evolved into an in-depth and integral part of the Fire Department’s organization.
Headed by a civilian Division Chief and staffed with a small, proficient group of specially-trained analysts, the Division is responsible for strategic departmental planning, funding options, and agreements with other fire departments and contract cities. The Division also provides support throughout the organization on a variety of special projects and needs.
When detailed, these responsibilities expand into a wide array of challenging but interesting functions. Some of the more visual functions include conducting fire service feasibility studies; negotiating and preparing contracts; preparing automatic aid, mutual aid and initial action agreements with other fire agencies; administration of the District’s Special Tax (previously the Benefit Assessment) and the Developer Fee Program; and reviewing all environmental impact reports within the District’s jurisdiction for impact on fire and emergency medical services and imposing mitigation requirements upon developers.
On a whole, these functions blend together so that the Division may continue to support the Department in meeting the needs of our growing population and provide the most skillful and cost-effective fire and emergency medical services in the communities served. Some of the Division’s highlights include annexation of eleven contract cities, establishment of the Developer Fee Program in high growth areas of the County, and involvement in the passage of Proposition E — the Department’s Special Tax that replaced our previous Benefit Assessment, to ensure continuity of the Department’s operating budget.