Fire Engine Brownouts
In February, 2010, fire engine brownouts began in San Diego in order to reduce a $179 million budget gap for Fiscal Year 2011.
In District 1, the engines at Station 35 in University City and Station 40 in Rancho Peñasquitos are included in the brownout plan.
The brownouts of fire engines throughout the City of San Diego will end effective July 1. During the budget negotiations, Councilmember Lightner was one of the leading proponents of ending brownout immediately instead of gradually phasing them out. As part of the larger budget package, Councilmember Lightner joined her colleagues and voted 7-to-1 to approve funding to boost fire protection for all San Diegans.
On July 1, Councilmember Lightner joined with her Council colleagues and officials from the City’s Fire Department to celebrate the end of fire engine brownouts. Watch the video.
Working for You to End Brownouts
In January 2010, before the brownout plan was released, Councilmember Lightner argued that engines at Station 40 and Station 35 should not be browned-out because of the large geographic area covered by Station 40 and the high number of incident responses at Station 35.
On April 7, 2010, Councilmember Lightner requested revisions to the brownout plan to restore Station 40 and Station 35 to full service.
Councilmember Lightner pushed for regular updates from Fire Chief Mainar to the City Council regarding the brownouts. This has allowed the public and City leaders to keep apprised on the impact brownouts are having.
Councilmember Lightner and Fire-Rescue Chief Javier Mainar presented to the Rancho Peñasquitos Fire Safe Council on the City’s Brownout Plan on April 15, 2010.
Councilmember Lightner worked with Fire Chief Mainar to move a "quint" – a fire truck able to both pump and spray water – to Station 35 in place of the existing truck--which is only able to spray water. This gives additional fire extinguishment capability to Station 35, to help alleviate the some of the impact of brownouts.
Councilmember Lightner voted in June 2010 to amend the FY2011 budget to restore three of the browned-out fire stations, including UC and Rancho Peñasquitos, to full service. Unfortunately, this motion did not obtain the necessary number of votes to pass.
On March 16, 2011, Councilmember Lightner requested the Mayor work to find a way to exempt at least four fire stations, including Station 35, from brownouts as a part of the FY2012 budget that starts July 1st.
The Mayor’s office is currently exploring options to restore some of the browned-out fire engines.