Merced City Council Considers Fire Agreement

The City of Merced declared May 14 “Merced Hmong American Day.” During Monday’s meeting, members of the Hlub Hmong Center received the proclamation.

During Monday’s Merced City Council meeting, the council discussed the possibility of providing support to Merced County Fire’s needs in the event they close the McKee fire station.
Interim Fire Chief Wilson provided a presentation to the council explaining how the options would work, with auto-aid and reciprocal agreements addressed. However, Wilson noted that neither agency currently had the technology to effectively enact a reciprocal agreement, and that it would take nine to 12 months before the necessary CAD system could be implemented.
“I’m all for being a good neighbor, but I need more information, I need more data,” said Councilman Jesse Ornelas. “I’m not comfortable with the city being the one who’s going to save them. I think maybe we should wait on giving this support, and give the county the opportunity to find alternative solutions to the problems that they’re having.”
“I just want to make sure we’re not dumping all our resources into the county,” said Councilwoman Sarah Boyle. She suggested looking closely at fees for service and the impact on response times.
“I do think we need to provide fire protection for our neighbors who happen to live in a pocket that isn’t city. These are our friends, these are our neighbors,” said Councilman Shane Smith. He added: “I do want to see benefit to the city beyond just being a good neighbor.”
These sentiments were echoed by Mayor Matthew Serratto: “This cannot detract from the services that we provide to our constituents, and it cannot be a negative financial impact…that said, I think there’s a lot of opportunity here for a win-win.”
The council voted 6-1 in favor of continuing discussing the options for how to aid Merced County Fire, with Councilman Ornelas voting “No.”

MercedMerced City CouncilMerced County
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