MARTINEZ -- A draft operational study of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District will be the subject of a town-hall meeting in Martinez next week.

Last year, the county board of supervisors, in its capacity as fire district board, contracted with Fitch and Associates LLC to study the district's operations and make recommendations for future service delivery.

The District has been hit by budget cuts that have forced the closure of five fire stations -- in Walnut Creek, Clayton, Martinez, Lafayette and Pittsburg -- since a November 2012 parcel tax measure went down to defeat. Measure Q, which would have assessed homeowners $75 a year, gathered 53 percent yes votes, far short of the required two-thirds.

In addition to the fire station closures, one of two companies were taken out of service at a Walnut Creek station and at a Concord station.

The county fire district currently staffs 23 stations with 23 three-person crews and 69 firefighters on duty each day, said Fire Marshal Lewis Broschard, who is the district's public information officer. A two-person squad operating a medical response vehicle is serving at the downtown Walnut Creek station as part of a pilot program that will be re-evaluated in March.

The town hall meeting will include a public education component regarding the draft study and a public forum.


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A copy of the draft operational study is available for public review in the Office of the Clerk of the board of supervisors, 651 Pine St., 1st Floor, Martinez, CA 94553. The report also is available online at http://www.cccounty.us/ConFireStudy.

The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. Jan. 31. Comments can be submitted by email to timothy.ewell@cao.cccounty.us; or by regular mail to the County Administrator's Office, Attn: Fitch Study -- Public Comment, 651 Pine St., 10th Floor, Martinez CA 94553; or by phone at 925-335-1036.

The consultant is expected to present its findings to the board of supervisors Feb. 25.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 or tlochner@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner

if you go
What: Town-hall meeting
Where: Board of Supervisors chamber, 651 Pine Street, 1st Floor, Room 107, Martinez
When: 6 p.m., Jan. 22