SANTA CRUZ (June 24, 2014) – In a landmark decision that will sustain effective operations and enhance emergency response throughout the City of Santa Cruz, the University of California, Santa Cruz will contract with the city for its fire emergency services beginning next week.
The city council Tuesday authorized the city manager to execute a fire services agreement with the university. It will result in the City of Santa Cruz adding the university fire station, fleet and personnel to its operations and enhance capacity for response within the city and university.
“This is an example of a true partnership that will benefit both the city and campus,” said Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jeff Trapp, who has served as chief for both departments since 2012. “We are proud to provide first-rate fire service to the world-class university that calls Santa Cruz home.”
Sarah Latham, UC Santa Cruz vice chancellor for business and administrative services, said the agreement is “a great example of a city / university collaboration that will leverage our mutual resources and ensure quality of services for the campus and community.”
The city and UC Santa Cruz first entered into a Fire Management Service Agreement in January 2012 to share the costs of administering the two fire departments over a two-year period, providing sufficient time to evaluate further partnership opportunities. Based on the success of the model, city and university leadership began negotiations for a permanent agreement earlier this year. Both agencies have provided mutual aid response in the past to the benefit of the community and university.
The University Fire Station will remain at its current location and be home to an engine company of three city firefighters, available for campus and citywide response. The 10-year agreement will include most services currently provided by the city, except in the areas of fire prevention and marine safety. The partnership is yet another example of county-wide regionalization which already includes area libraries, animal services and the 911 dispatch center.