WHAT IS THE AMADOR CONTRACT?
Amador is the customary name used to identify a limited number of contracts available to fire departments through the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The Amador contract continues staffing and station coverage through the winter "off season". In those areas without a contract, Cal Fire stations are closed and personnel revert to a 40 hour workweek. In order to qualify for a contract, the requesting agency or district must also have a working fire department. The Amador contract is designed to augment the existing fire department not replace it.
What are the benefits for the District and its residents?
All staff, Cal Fire and volunteers, are professionally trained, EMT certified and are certified by the state to the same exacting standards as any big city fire department. As part of the contract, Cal Fire provides:
- Training to the volunteers 24 / 7 Fire, Medical Aid, and Rescue Coverage Professional
- Training for All Personnel Fire Fighting and Medical Aid Certification for All Personnel
- Professional Leadership and Guidance
- Access to State Purchasing Contracts for Equipment and Supplies
- Bi-Agency Cooperative Fire Station
- Potentially Lower Fire Insurance Rates for Those Homes and Businesses Within a 5 Mile Radius of Either the Loma Rica Station or the Browns Valley Station
- During Summer Fire Season, Should Cal Fire Personnel Be Deployed to a Fire Outside the District, Priority Re-Staffing is Reserved for Amador Contract Stations
What revenue enhancements are afforded the District through the Amador contract?
During summer fire season, Cal Fire rents District equipment to replace state equipment moved out of area
What does the Amador contract cost?
Cal Fire "non-fire season" is dependent on rainfall and typically includes part of autumn, all of winter, and part of spring – approximately 7 months. During this non-fire season, Cal Fire personnel revert to a 40-hour workweek. Without the Amador contract, the stations are closed at night and weekends. The District pays the difference in cost between the 40-hour workweek and the 24/7 work schedule required for full time coverage as well as additional personnel required to fulfill State safety requirements.
Due to labor contracts between the State of California and its Firefighters, the cost of the contract generally increases each fiscal year. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 and continuing through June 30, 2018, the Amador contract is estimated at $241,605. This is worst case scenario. Actual cost, dictated by weather conditions and an extended fire season, is normally less than estimated.
Amador contract information provided by Cal Fire
The Amador Plan is defined in Public Resources Code Section 4143 and 4144. It is named after Amador County, which was the first county to enter into this type of agreement with Cal Fire. It allows the Director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, when requested, and with the approval of the Department of General Services to enter into Cooperative fire protection agreements with qualifying cities, counties and special districts to provide for the non-fire season use of Cal Fire equipment, personnel and facilities for fire prevention and suppression.
Cal Fire provides full-service fire protection to many of the citizens of California through the administration of 146 cooperative fire protection agreements in 35 of the state’s 58 counties, 25 cities, 31 fire districts and 34 other special districts and service areas. As a full-service fire department Cal Fire responds to wildland fires, structure fires, floods, hazardous material spills, swift water rescues, civil disturbances, earthquakes and medical emergencies of all kinds. Local governments are able to utilize this diversity and experience through their contracts and agreements with the Department
The requesting agency is responsible for funding the difference between the non-fire season base pay and extended Cal Fire staff availability for 24-hour emergency response. The regular base pay and benefits are paid by Cal Fire. It is a very cost effective way for agencies to maintain year round fire protection and emergency medical services for their respective communities.
There are a few requirements that need to be met.
1. The area must have lands classified by the Board of Forestry as State Responsibility Area (SRA).
2. No more than 50 percent of the Cal Fire Fire Captains and Engineers assigned within a Unit can be committed to Cooperative fire protection programs in order to allow Cal Fire to meet its winter time work program needs and to insure the strike force and efficiency of Cal Fire's primary mission of wildland fire protection will not be reduced or impaired.