Station 21, a fire-fighting-capable station that had been in operation for 151 years, will now be staffed with only a ladder truck to provide paramedic service, Fire Chief Doug Robertson said.
The downtown station, located at 1220 Marin St., will have no apparatus capable of providing water for a fire emergency, according to Kyle Long, vice president of the Firefighters Local 1186 union.
Staff and equipment from two stations also will be transferred to two other previously closed stations in the city, Vallejo Fire Department spokesman William Tweedy said. The newly empty stations will be closed.
Operations at Station 26 at 1585 Fulton Avenue in Glen Cove will transfer to Station 22 at 700 Fifth Street in South Vallejo, and personnel and staff from Station 25 at 595 Mini Drive in North Vallejo will be relocated to Station 27 at 1585 Ascot Court in northeast Vallejo, Tweedy said. Stations 26 and 25 will close.
The Vallejo City Council voted 4-3 against declaring a fiscal emergency that could have led to a one-cent sales tax-increase measure on the November ballot. The tax would have generated $9.9 million for the city's general fund, Long said.
The city's finance department estimated closing one fire station would save $1.9 million each year, Long said.
Robertson said this morning marked the third round of fire station closures since the city filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
Stations 22 and 27 closed in 2008, Station 28 closed a year later, and Station 21 closed at 8 a.m. this morning, Robertson said.
The city's eight fire stations have been reduced to four stations plus Engine Co. 21. The number of firefighters on duty each day will drop from 18 to 15.
The response time will be longer due to fewer personnel to deliver services and longer traveling distances, Tweedy said.
Last year, the Vallejo Fire Department responded to 12,200 service calls with five fully staffed engine companies, Tweedy said. The four engine companies are expected to handle an estimated 13,000 calls in 2010, Tweedy said.
There were 5,595 service calls through June of this year, Long said.
The decision regarding which station to close was based on an analysis of district call volume, proximity to other district fire stations, square miles and population served, district geographical features and other hazard risk factors, Tweedy said.