This District shall provide fire protection, fire suppression, rescue and emergency medical services, education in fire safety and emergency standards, and other services to protect lives and property while maintaining the highest level of safety for firefighters/rescue personnel. Services shall be provided in a professional manner within the economic and demographic limitations of our community and in recognition of the need for dedicated volunteer involvement, as appropriate, using innovation and flexibility in response to local needs and conditions.
It is with deep sadness that the Board of Directors of the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District announce the unexpected passing of long-time Board Member Sheridan Loungway on Sunday, May 7.
Loungway had served on the Board for over 20 years, most recently as Board Chairman. Prior to that he had served as a Volunteer Firefighter. The Board joins the entire Rough and Ready community in expressing our condolences to his family.
Due to unforseen circumstances, the Board of Directors Meeting scheduled for May 9 has been postponed and will be held on May 16 at 6:30pm.
Rough and Ready is bringing back it’s Secession Day Chili Cook-off on Sunday, June 4 after a 3 year COVID hiatus. The annual event celebrates the 1850 secession and 3-month life of the Great Republic of Rough and Ready.
The non-sanctioned Chili Cook-off, along with the musical headliners, is the centerpiece of the day as the event draws chili cookers and tasters from around the area…all interested in cooking or tasting some of the best chili in Nevada County. Ten teams will be vying for this year’s juried Best Chili title and visitors will have the opportunity to sample the various chili recipes and cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. 2019 Winner Mondog’s Fire Roasted Red Chili will defend their title, along with previous competitors Who Let The Hogs Out, Fire in the Hole and Fiery Old Fart’s Chili. And newcomers Double J, Old West Warrior, Buckshot, TLC, Bigfoot Beans and 95975 Ways to Chili, will make their attempt to claim the Cook-off crown.
The event will be held in downtown Rough and Ready and will begin with a FREE Firefighter’s Breakfast in the Fire House beginning at 8:30, cooked and served by members of the local Grange #795. Donations, which are gratefully accepted, will be shared by the Grange and the Fire Dept.
At 10:30 musical entertainment will start and continue until 2:30, headlined by local favorites Brandon Dannals and The PK and Pray Band in alternating hour segments.
Meanwhile, as the Chili Chefs prepare their concoctions, the town Blacksmith will be heating up the forge in the historic Fippin Blacksmith Shop. Our vendors and crafters will be displaying their wares in the Marketplace in front of the old Rough and Ready Market.
At 11am Chili Tasting Kits will go on sale for $5.00 and at noon, as the Judges meet to decide the winners, the public will be invited to visit the Chili Chefs and sample their best. If you’re still hungry (or thirsty) enjoy hot dogs from the Grange, beer from Bullmastiff Brewing or treats from Coco’s Lazy Dog Ice Cream. You can also take your chance with some raffle drawings, pickup a “Rough and Ready Fire” Tee Shirt from the Fire Department or stock up on a variety of official, genuine “Great Republic of Rough and Ready” merchandise at the Blacksmith Shop.
Admission and parking is free. All proceeds benefit non-profit Rough and Ready organizations: The Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce, Grange #795 and Rough and Ready Fire Dept.
Reprinted from YubaNet.com
April 21, 2023
The Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo) held a workshop at Rough
and Ready Fire Protection District (RARFPD) Station 59 on Thursday to
provide information on the dissolution application process. LAFCo also
received an application by Penn Valley Fire Protection District (PVFPD)
to annex RAR’s territory following the dissolution. The workshop brought
to light the complexities and challenges of the plan.
How it started
Both districts submitted their applications after unanimous votes by
their respective boards. The RARFPD board voted to pay off the
outstanding loan on Station 59 to keep the station available for PVFPD
to use. PVFPD assumed the payments and ownership of Engine 5960. Penn
Valley’s application includes a clause asking for “[a]n appropriate
property tax-sharing agreement between the Penn Valley Fire Protection
District and the County of Nevada is agreed pursuant to Revenue &
Taxation Code section 99 that has the support of the Board of Directors
of the Penn Valley Fire Protection District.“
At this time, the combined budgets of both districts would not cover
the required expenditures to provide complete coverage for the new area,
hence the request to renegotiate the share of the 1% ad valorem tax
received by Penn Valley – currently 0.20037% ($486,895)
LAFCo’s Executive Director SR Jones stated, “Right now we have two
applications. One from Rough and Ready Fire Protection District to
dissolve and a second application from the Penn Valley Fire District to
annex the territory so they can be the successor agency under the
process. As you heard, the Penn Valley proposal is conditional upon the
completion of tax negotiations with the county. At this point, we have
the Rough and Ready proposal for dissolution and an indication from the
Rough and Ready Board that they cannot provide services after the end of
the fiscal year [June30, 2023]. So, Rough and Ready have asked LAFCo to
take action on the dissolution, which under this process. The
Commission would take action on the proposal at a noticed public
hearing, following consideration of the proposal and its consistency
with LAFCo law and the Commission’s policy.”
How it’s going
It’s unlikely the dissolution will be complete by end of June, a
30-day reconsideration period is legally mandated after LAFCo votes on
the proposed resolution. Once the dissolution is complete, Nevada County
would be designated as the successor agency while the annexation
details are worked out. A successor agency assumes all the liabilities
and revenues, meaning Nevada County would have to contract for services
in the Rough and Ready area from neighboring fire districts – for a fee.
The current auto-aid agreement would come to an end, explained Penn
Valley Fire Chief Don Wagner, “even though there’s going to be a legal
dissolution because of the finances, they’re going to shut their doors
at the end of the pay period at the end of June and not respond. So once
that happens, there is no more automatic aid or mutual aid agreements.
So what’s probably going to happen is the boards are going to get
together and discuss this and talk about, ‘Yes, we’ll provide service,
but it’ll be for a fee, a fee for service.’ We’ll have to have some
income. It’s not fair to the residents of Penn Valley to support all of
the continuing sitting apparatus and staffing up here. We need some sort
of a fee to kind of cover that. That’s a temporary solution. We can
only do that for a certain amount of time, and we’ll be working with
Grass Valley on that.”
CAL FIRE not a viable option
If a district is defunct, the area falls under the State Fire
Marshal’s responsibility. Landon Haack, North Division Operations Chief
for CAL FIRE NEU attended the meeting and provided some clarity on what
the agency would and would not provide, “… if it makes it to where the
responsibility comes back to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, then it
will defer to us. But in that being deferred, we wouldn’t staff the
station, it doesn’t require that we come down and staff a station. We
would provide a response until there’s a solution. But that response
would be coming from the closest Cal Fire staffed resource. So in the
wintertime, that would be the station up at Nevada City, and then in the
summertime, it would be whichever one is closer to the call, either
Smartsville or Nevada City. And that would still just be if those
engines are available, there’s not an obligation to come and staff the
facility. We would send something to the call, and it would be coming
from somewhere, which would be the closest resource that we have
available. So you can imagine what that looks like during the
summertime. Outside of that, it would be the only ability for us to do
something here would be through a cooperative fire agreement, like a
Schedule A contract.”
The average price for Schedule A contract? About 1.3 to 1.5 million per year.
The canary in the coal mine and the circular firing squad
Rough and Ready Fire is the proverbial canary in the coal mine when
it comes to fire districts no longer being able to provide the services
needed with the revenues provided by taxpayers. Consolidation at one
time seemed like a viable option, but given RARFPD’s financial situation
no equitable assets besides the fire station remain.
The county’s role in this process is complex, to say the least.
Supervisors and staff will have to find a solution to provide services
for the 700 parcels in the district and look at the bigger picture of
fire services in Nevada County. All while sticking to their oft-repeated
mantra “We are not in the fire business,” as Supervisor Lisa Swarthout,
present in her capacity as LAFCo commissioner (alternate) pointed out:
“understand that we as the Board of Supervisors have zero authority over
the fire district.”
“We’ve had numerous discussions amongst the fire agencies and things
of looking at countywide consolidation. Of all of the fire districts
together, the most recent one was three or four years ago and probably
came to closest,” said Penn Valley Chief Don Wagner.
Referring to a survey done a few years ago to switch to one
county-wide assessment for all fire services, he recalled “the community
overwhelmingly wanted to support more staff, fire stations, paramedics,
three people on all these engines, but they didn’t want to pay for it.”
Survey respondents were asked if they would pay $200, $300 or $400 a
year for fire services and the overwhelming majority wanted all the
services and pay $200 – not the $400 needed to operate at that level.
While little to no public education and outreach was done before the
survey, it did not help consolidation talks at the time.
Attempts to consolidate or merge fire agencies have started numerous
times, with little results. There are currently 10 local fire
departments in Nevada County, plus CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service fire
The next LAFCo meeting is on June 22nd in the Board Chambers at the Rood Center.
Why This Matters
Local residents are directly affected by fire departments’ ability to
respond to any incident, be that a medical call, an accident, or a
natural disaster like wildfire, flooding or winter storms. First, the
immediate need during an emergency for a rapid and professional
response. Second, a district with limited staffing, a lack of equipment
or long response times affects the ISO rating of an area, which in turn
directly affects the insurance premiums for homeowners. Coverage refusal
or cancellation are already rampant in the high fire hazard areas in
California and beyond. Fire departments make up 50% of an ISO score. In
short, the better your fire department is equipped and staffed, the
easier it is to find affordable homeowners’ insurance.
Local Agency Formation Commission of Nevada County
Nevada LAFCo Announces
A PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON THE
DISSOLUTION OF THE ROUGH AND READY FIRE
Thursday, April 20, 2023 ... 9:30 a.m.
Station 59 Conference Room
14506 Rough & Ready Highway
Rough & Ready, CA
Please note: No action nor vote will be taken during this workshop;
the meeting is informational only.
The public is encouraged to attend this workshop in person; however, any person
may also attend remotely:
Join Zoom Meeting
The Commission and members of the public will be briefed on the status of Rough & Ready Fire
Protection District’s proposal to dissolve. Information will be provided by members of the Rough
and Ready District Board, LAFCo staff, officials from Penn Valley Fire Protection District and
other agency staff.
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE WORKSHOP CONTENT, please contact
SR Jones, Nevada LAFCO’s Executive Officer at 530-265-7180 or send your question to:
*No action will be taken by the Commission; workshop content is informational. All public
officials attending remotely are subject to current Brown Act regulations adopted in AB 2449,
effective January 1, 2023.
LAFCo Office Located at: 950 Maidu Avenue ... Nevada City, California 95959
Telephone: 530-265-7180 ... Toll Free: 888-846-7180
Support the Rough and Ready Fire Station! Join us for our Monthly Spaghetti Dinner at 5pm on the Third Thursday of Every Month. Enjoy delicious spaghetti with meat sauce, salad and garlic bread...and it's FREE! Donations Gratefully Accepted!
Penn Valley Fire starts on the road to annexation
Board votes unanimously to request annexation of Rough and Ready Fire District into PVFD
A unanimous vote of the Penn Valley Fire Protection District (PVFPD)
board requesting the Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo) start
annexation proceedings of Rough and Ready Fire Protection District’s
area is only the first step on a long journey.
Directors considered a revised resolution to start the annexation
proceedings after the Board of Rough and Ready Fire voted on March 20th
to begin dissolution proceedings. A final vote on that resolution will
be scheduled at a later date.
Before reading the resolution, Chairman Bruce Stephenson explained,
“I know you guys probably feel a little rushed, but we are kind of under
some time constraints. So that’s why I wanted to push this forward for
this meeting tonight. Typically, I would have liked to have had this out
for you guys to read and digest a little longer and I apologize for
that… But we have some protections built in. As long as everybody
understands that, I think we’re good to go.”
Directors expressed their approval of the reworked resolution,
“seeing a lot of offramps here,” according to Director Joey Jordan. The
conditions for the district to absorb Rough and Ready Fire’s service
area, without negatively impacting Penn Valley residents, are:
a. An appropriate property tax-sharing agreement between the PVFPD and the County of Nevada. b.
Nevada County becomes the successor agency to Rough and Ready Fire
Protection District (RAR) to protect PVFPD from RAR’s liabilities. c. Existing ambulance service rights of RAR to be assigned to PVFD from and after the proposed annexation date. d. Extend the special tax of PVFD to fund emergency medical services to the territory of RAR.
District staff will work to complete the necessary documents for LAFCo to consider the annexation proposal.
RAR Fire and Penn Valley Fire Consolidation Committee Recommends Dissolution
"After extensive work put forth by the the Joint Rough and Ready/Penn Valley Consolidation Committee, the Committee has come to conclude the following:
Rough and Ready will indeed run out of funding for Station staffing in the next few months without a viable funding stream to ensure long-term solvency. A consolidation between Rough and Ready and Penn Valley Districts is not financially sound and is not supported by either the Nevada County Board of Supervisors or the Local Area Formation Council.
Following the recommendation of the Nevada Count BOS and LAFCo it is this Committee’s recommendation that the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District file dissoluble documents with the LAFCo. Expediency with this process, if approved by the Board, should be a priority in consideration for possible Penn Valley Fire Board Annexation of the R&R Fire District.
It is also the committee’s recommendation that the R&R Fire Board pay off the remaining Loan on the Fire Station so that this facility remains a functioning fire station that can continue to protect our town and surrounding areas. The Committee also recommend efforts to be put forth with continuing fund-raising events to help supply a much needed cash infusion to supplement the needs of this fire station.”
EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
One of the most impactful and effective methods of voicing your opinions is through our local, state and national government officials. We encourage you to utilize our representative republic and let your representatives know of your concerns through letters. We encourage you to write ALL your representatives, if possible, preferably using written correspondence, but emails or phone calls if not. We ask that you be polite and respectful and suggest that, rather than using a form letter, you personalize the letter with positive statements regarding the importance and impact your Fire Department has had on you, your neighbors and your community.
You might wish to tell your government officials how the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District sits in the middle of a fire-prone rural area; that it, like many other rural fire departments, is facing financial difficulties due to increasing expenses and mandated requirements, while income from taxes and assessments remain static; that because of the financial shortfall, the department is facing the possibility of closing; that your fire department provides needed quick and professional emergency medical treatment in an older community; and that rapid fire response is crucial to maintaining homeowner's insurance in an area where insurance is becoming more expensive and harder to obtain.
Please urge your representatives to understand the urgency of the situation and ask them to work quickly and diligently to obtain new and sustainable funding to save the Rough and Ready Fire Department!
We have assembled a list of government officials to whom you may wish to communicate and have included the correct form of address for each.
The Honorable Alex Padilla United States Senate 112 Hart Senate Office Bldg Washington, DC 20510
Sacramento Office 501 I Street Suite 7-800 Sacramento, CA 20510 (916) 448-2787
NEVADA COUNTY LAFCO Eric Rood Center 950 Maidu Avenue, Suite 200 Nevada City, CA 95959 (530) 265-7180
PENN VALLEY TOWN HALL MEETING DRAWS CROWD
10 March 2023
The second of two Town Halls to discuss the closure of the Rough and Ready Fire Department
and possible consolidation/annexation with the Penn Valley Fire Department was held March
8th at station 43 in Penn Valley. Consolidation Committee members including Penn Valley Fire Board Member Bruce Stephenson, Rough and Ready Fire Board Member Tom Nelson, Penn Valley Board Member Terry
McMahon, Rough and Ready Fire Board Member Doug Wittler, Penn Valley Fire Chief Don Wagner, and Nevada County Supervisor Sue Hoek were all in
attendance along with approx. 100 public guests.
Topics discussed were the financial shortfalls of the Rough and Ready Fire Department and
possible merger with neighboring Penn Valley Fire so service into the Rough and Ready District
can continue. Tax allocations, emergency funding, and staffing through a donation process
were also discussed.
The Consolidation Committee is to present it’s findings and a recommendation will be brought
to the full Rough and Ready Fire Board next Tuesday March 14th at 6:30pm.
A 3rd Town Hall Meeting will be conducted for all of Rough and Ready and Penn Valley
residents at a future date.
Merger Consolidation Committee Member,
Penn Valley and Rough and Ready Board of Directors
PENN VALLEY TOWN HALL MEETING MARCH 8
Penn Valley, CA—The public is invited and encouraged to attend a Penn Valley Fire Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, March 8th, 6:00PM at the Penn Valley Fire Protection District Station 43, located at 10513 Spenceville Road in Penn Valley. The purpose of the meeting is to inform residents of a serious financial shortfall that is impacting our neighboring Rough and Ready Fire Protection District. Rough and Ready Fire has traditionally responded to 15-17 calls per month in the Penn Valley Fire area and their inability to do so may impact Penn Valley residents.
Directors of Penn Valley Fire Protection District, along with R&RFPD/PVFPD Consolidation Committee members and Nevada County District 4 Supervisor Sue Hoek will be available to hear concerns and respond to questions.
Fire Protection Districts are Special Districts. The majority of funding for Special Districts comes from Parcel Tax Assessments and a percentage of a 1% Ad Valorem from Secured Property Taxes collected by the County. In addition, Nevada County is one of only six counties in the state of California that also share a percentage of Prop 172 funds with local fire districts.
Discussions about who will respond to emergencies in Rough and Ready Fire Protection District are ongoing and include local fire districts as well as District 4 County Supervisor Susan Hoek and S.R. Jones, Executive Director of Nevada County Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo.)
ROUGH & READY TOWN HALL MEETING HELD
The first of two Consolidation Committee Town Halls was held last night February 22nd at the Rough and Ready Fire Station. In attendance and mediating the event was Penn Valley Board Chairperson and Committee Spokesperson Bruce Stephenson, Tom Nelson and Doug Wittler both Committee members and Board of Directors with the Rough and Ready Fire District. Sue Hoek Committee Member and County Supervisor along with Don Wagner PV Fire Chief and Committee Member also in attendance along with an audience of approximately 100 guests.
The committee discussed options with attendees that included closing the Rough and Ready station, consolidation with Penn Valley, and contracting out service when the Department can no longer staff the Fire Station.
The Committee is still seeking funding with the help of County Supervisors and LAFCO to keep the Fire Station staffed.
The public is invited to the second of two meetings that will be held in Penn Valley at Fire Station 43 on March 8th at 6pm. Questions and comments can be sent to RARJOINSPV@gmail.com.
For Immediate Release September 16, 2022
Penn Valley and Rough and Ready Fire Departments Explore District Consolidation with New Committee A committee with representatives from both districts has been formed with a mission to improve emergency response times, equipment, and staffing and ensure long-term fiscal solvency.
Nevada County, Ca— September 16, 2022 — On September 7, a new committee consisting of board members from both districts officially launched a feasibility study, taking the first step toward consolidating the two adjacent fire districts. During the first meeting, areas of concern were outlined, a mission statement was adopted, and a goal was set to complete the feasibility study by July 1, 2023. It was also agreed that no final decisions would be made without extensive community engagement and feedback.
Rough and Ready Fire Department currently responds to many Penn Valley emergencies as the closest resource available. With the Rough and Ready Fire Department now staffed part-time, this impacts Penn Valley Fire Protection District’s (PVFPD) response and the overall safety of residents in the entire region. It is the goal of both agencies to guarantee 24/7 coverage to 100% of the current residents in the Penn Valley and Rough and Ready Footprint. The newly formed committee is exploring the specifics of how this can be achieved and will seek community feedback on how to best move forward.
“This is an exciting time for our area. We have leadership from both districts coming to the table, rolling up their sleeves, and getting to work on figuring this out. It needs to be a win across the board for all our residents and firefighters, now and well into the future.” Says committee member and Penn Valley Fire District Board Vice Chairman Terry McMahan. “It won’t be easy, but I’m encouraged to see many stepping up to respond to our current situation and build a sustainable plan.” Adds Tom Nelson, Rough & Ready Vice Chairperson.
On September 13, the Rough and Ready Fire Board named current Penn Valley Fire Chief Don Wagner as Operational Chief for Rough and Ready Fire. In this role, he will oversee daily operations and staff management and advise the committee on how to streamline administration and improve regional emergency coverage. “In 1996, when I started, we took about 650 calls a year. Now we are looking at over 1700 per year. This job has changed, and our agencies need to adapt to meet the need. We know this is a big concern for our residents, and we hope they become part of the solution by providing feedback. Right now, however, we want to stress that services will not be interrupted in either district.”
Oversight of the committee will be conducted by Nevada County Board of Supervisors Representative Sue Hoek and Local Area Formation Council Executive S.R. Jones, with final approval by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.
“I’m inspired by the commitment of everyone involved. It is a complex problem that requires methodical review, and we want everyone impacted to be part of the process. We hope folks will consider joining the regular board meetings, and we will be planning town halls in 2023 to gather additional feedback.” Adds Sue Hoek.
Regular board meetings:
Penn Valley Board Meetings,
1st Tuesday of every month
10513 Spenceville Rd, Penn Valley, CA 95946
Rough and Ready Board Meeting
2nd Tuesday of every month
Rough and Ready Firehouse
14506 Rough and Ready Hwy, Rough and Ready, CA 95975
Complete List of Committee Members: Bruce Stephenson, Penn Valley Chairperson Committee spokesperson: Tom Nelson, Rough & Ready Vice Chairperson Terry McMahan, Penn Valley Director Doug Wittler, Rough & Ready Director Committee Advisors: Don Wagner, Penn Valley Fire Chief Sue Hoek, Nevada County Supervisor District 4 S.R. Jones, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) Executive Officer
SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY YARD SALE DONATES FUNDS TO FIRE DEPARTMENT
(L to R: Rough and Ready Fire Protection District Director Tom Nelson, Grange Master Mike Roman, Mary Lou Roman, Upper Rough and Ready Firewise Community leaders Jim Mezzetta and John Wetzel, Squirrel Creek HOA representative Sharon Loucks, Anna Dalcour, RaRFPD Director Doug Wittler, James Dalcour and RaRFPD Board Chairman Sheridan Loungway)
(L to R : Rough and Ready Fire Protection District Board Chairman Sheridan Loungway, Rough and Ready Village Mobile Home Park Managers Sean Curtis and Mary Ann Nelson, and RaRFPD Director Craig Ashcraft)
Members of four Rough and Ready community groups and businesses assembled on Monday, Oct. 24 to present their donations, raised by the recent Community Wide Yard Sale, to the Board of Directors of the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District.
Leaders of the Rough and Ready Grange #795, the Upper Rough and Ready Firewise Community, the Rough and Ready Village Mobile Home Park and the Squirrel Creek Homeowners Association presented the Fire Department with checks totaling $3,600.
The First Annual Community Wide Yard Sale, held at two locations in Rough and Ready over the weekend of October 15 and 16, saw hundreds of locals and area friends visit the sites and find items of interest. “We love our Fire Department,” said Mary Ann Nelson, co-manager of Rough and Ready Village and one of the the originators of the fundraising idea, “and we’re so happy to be able to show them how much this town appreciates them.”
Members of all these groups spent countless hours, collecting and transporting items, cleaning them and preparing them for the sale.
“It truly speaks to the spirit of this community,” said Board of Directors Chairman Sheridan Loungway, “that so many people from different groups pulled together and worked so hard toward a common goal: helping their Fire Department.”
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
July 12, 2022
The current Administration of the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District has reached out and met with the Employees' Union Representatives, neighboring Fire Districts, our County District 4 Supervisor, LAFCo Representative, ECC (Emergency Command Center) and community groups over the past several months to find a sustainable solution to our budgetary restrictions.
To ensure fiscal stability, the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District is temporarily suspending staffing two days out of the week on a rotating basis, beginning July 15th. During this time our Mutual Aid Agreements with our neighboring agencies will cover our response within the Fire District, with little or no time delay.
We appreciate the continuing support and participation of the community in this matter.
Board of Directors
Rough and Ready Fire Protection District
A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Rough and Ready Fire Protection District has operated as a volunteer fire department since its inception in 1967. Various revenue sources help fund its operation. In 2018, we put on paid staff consisting of two Captains working as single staffing on rotating shifts of three (24 hour) days on and three days off, along with volunteer staffing.
In 2019 the Fire District came to the Community and asked for a per-parcel Fire Suppression Assessment for the purpose of enhancing staffing and budget tolerance for the increasing expenses of services, maintenance and supplies of a staffed fire station. The Assessment was based on fire suppression services only.
The Assessment Engineering was based on the previous work schedule. After the Assessment passed, the District was able to hire two more personnel, allowing us to staff the fire house with 2-on staffing, 24/7, and fund the expanding cost of operating a staffed fire station.
The "Three Day Staffing" became problematic with overtime, scheduling and expenditures and had become phased out in the industry. The current industry standard is a 48 hour on-shift with 96 hours off-shift (48/96), creating three shifts (A Shift, B Shift and C Shift) employing six Firefighters, supplementing with two/three seasonal fire personnel during fire season. This allowed us to participate in Strike Team assignments, bringing in extra revenue, as well as back-staffed with our dedicated volunteers.
In 2021 the State Fire Marshal eliminated the volunteer fire certification, and began requiring a minimum standard completion certification from an accredited Fire Academy. This, along with other mandates from the Fire Marshal and the State, created unmanageable operating costs. Our payroll, benefits and workers compensation has grown along with the cost of living and inflationary increases.
While it has only been a few short years since the Assessment was implemented, the industry and the cost of doing business has changed significantly. Our revenue has changed very little in comparison.
The current administration has taken on the challenge to find a sustainable solution to maintain the quality service the Community has come to know and expect. We are reaching out and meeting with Employees' Union Representatives, neighboring Fire Districts, our County Supervisor, LAFCO (the agency that has oversight on Special Districts), Community groups and individuals to obtain input from all parties involved in order to find a sustainable solution.
The current Board of Directors thanks the Community for its strong support over the many years. With the help of our community and our Grange, Chamber of Commerce, the Upper Rough and Ready Fire Wise Road Committee, active individuals as well as the added benefits of ending Covid restrictions, the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District is looking forward to resuming the community breakfast, spaghetti dinners, Secession Days, the Baked Potato Booth at the Fair and other activities and events. We are committed to working with our community to keep our local pride and identity.