Closed since July 2021
By Allen D. Payton
After over 12 years since it closed, Pinole Valley Fire Station 74 will reopen and a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate it will be held this Saturday, March 4, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District posted the following invitation on their Facebook page, Wednesday:
“You are cordially invited to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony jointly hosted by the City of Pinole and Contra Costa County Fire Protection District to recognize the reactivation of Fire Station 74 and the implementation of the collaborative agreement through which Con Fire will provide fire protection, rescue, and emergency medical services in Pinole.
On this date, in a precursor to the many service enhancements to be realized through the upcoming contract for fire, rescue and EMS service arrangement with Con Fire, we will begin serving county residents from this renovated and long un-staffed station.
Please join our city, county and fire districts’ leaders, advisory commission members, along with firefighters and staff from the City of Pinole Fire and Con Fire, as we mark the reopening of Fire Station 74.
A ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. with brief remarks by Mayor Devin T. Murphy, Supervisor John Gioia, Pinole Fire Chief Chris Wynkoop, and Con Fire Chief Lewis Broschard, followed by a ribbon cutting and open house to introduce the newly renovated station to the public.
Light refreshments will be served.
A formal transfer of command will take place in a separate ceremony at the Pinole city council meeting on April 4 at 7 pm to mark the completion of the contract for service transition.
WHEN: Saturday, March 4, 2023, 11 am – 1 pm
District 1 Supervisor John Gioia also issued an invite to the event writing, “reopening of Pinole Valley Fire Station will save lives and property.
If you can’t make it in person, you can watch on livestream: facebook.com/contracostafire
Re-activating this Fire Station is the result of a collaboration between Contra Costa County, City of Pinole, and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (ConFire)
I successfully advocated to use revenues from the County’s recently passed new sales tax (Measure X) to re-open this vital fire station.
Re-opening Station 74 will enhance fire, rescue, and emergency medical services throughout West County, and it will be staffed by an engine crew operating both a standard structure fire engine and a specialized wildland fire engine.
My father died of cardiac arrest in 1987 after not getting medical care fast enough. I understand the importance of improving emergency response time since every minute can make the difference between life and death.
Under a new agreement with the City of Pinole, ConFire will staff and operate both Fire Stations in Pinole – the Downtown Station 73 and Pinole Valley Station 74.
Thanks to the voters for supporting Measure X to increase vital fire and emergency medical services.”
History of Station 74 and Reopening Process
Station 74 was closed by the Pinole City Council in July 2011. Also according to the City’s website, “For most of its history, the City of Pinole has operated just one fire station (Station 73). The City briefly operated a second fire station (Station 74), from 2003 until 2011. The second station was closed due to lack of funding. Since the closure of Station 74, the City has explored different options for reopening the station or otherwise expanding fire protection and emergency medical services.
In November 2020, Contra Costa County voters approved Measure X, a half-cent countywide sales tax expected to generate approximately $100 million annually. In November 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved various appropriations of Measure X revenues, including $2 million to help reopen Pinole’s Fire Station 74.”
The process to reopen the station began last September. Then following the approvals by both the council and Board of Supervisors, on Nov. 9, 2022, the Contra Costa County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) unanimously approved the application for the fire service contract between the City of Pinole and Con Fire.
The partnership enables Con Fire to provide full operation of fire services in the City of Pinole, including the operation of both Fire Station 73 in downtown and Fire Station 74.
That will result ending the City’s own fire department. Emergency medical and fire protection services will be provided in Pinole by Con Fire.
“Residents, businesses, and visitors of Pinole would enjoy a higher level of emergency medical and fire protection services under the proposed arrangement than they do currently. In the future, if the City and Con Fire terminated the agreement, the City would need to reinstitute a City of Pinole Fire Department,” the City’s website reads.
All sworn uniformed personnel, with the exception of the Fire Chief, will become Con Fire employees upon the changeover.
The city will continue to own both fire stations.