ABSTRACT: In an effort to elucidate the recent past, present and projected future of the Carmel Fire Department’s situation, the remarks of Carmel Professional Firefighter Mitch Kastros at the Special City Council Meeting on 25 March 2009 are transcribed.
City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
Special City Council Meeting
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
East side of Monte Verde Street between Ocean and Seventh Avenues
IV. Orders of Council
B. Receive report and provide policy direction regarding contracting fire protection services to the City of Monterey.
"Mayor McCloud, Council Members, Citizens of Carmel."
"My name is Mitch Kastros and I have been a member of the Carmel Fire Department for over 34 years. I am here today to express my support for the proposed merger of our department with Monterey Fire. This process has been in place for several years now and the Council and City Administration have had many opportunities to discuss and learn about the structure and benefits of this proposal. At the operational level, Carmel Fire has been under the direction of Chief Andrew Miller and we have made tremendous progress in enhancing the levels of service to our community."
"In December of 2008, Pacific Grove Fire Department merged with Monterey Fire and instantly started paying dividends to the community. In the new department’s second day of operation, there was a structure fire which was quickly and safely mitigated through the system. And speaking to several members of the former Pacific Grove Fire Department, all are extremely happy with the system and the fact that a better service is indeed being provided. Those members of the previous Monterey Fire Department echo the same message and also feel morale has improved as a result. The citizens of Pacific Grove are also pleased."
"Since the Monterey-Pacific Grove merger, Carmel Fire has been using the Monterey Fire training standards to develop the three new Carmel firefighters hired in February. Not only is this helping the new firefighters, the veteran members of the Department are becoming more polished beyond the solid program Division Chief David Brown implemented at the time of our current contract with Pacific Grove. This is yet another example of the steady progression of our Fire Department during the past several years."
"The merger of Carmel Fire with Monterey will guarantee a better, more efficient, safer, and more economical service to the community. For those of you concerned about the possibility of losing the local connection with your Fire Department that will not happen under this system. The same faces you see now will be the ones you see after the merger only we’ll have a lot more help and get it a lot faster."
"The City has been extremely supportive of the leads for the community through the Fire Department. The contract with Pacific Grove, the recent hiring of the three new full-time firefighters and the new fire engine to be delivered soon are all examples of this."
"Approving the merger of Monterey Fire Department will complete the delivery to our community the proper levels of service it deserves for the protection of life and property. Thank you very much."
(Source: Archived Videos, Special City Council Meeting, March 25, 2009, 43:32 - 46:04)
NOTE: At the end of the City Council Meeting on 7 April 2009, Mayor Sue McCloud announced a Special City Council Meeting on the Carmel Fire Department scheduled for Thursday, April 30, 2009.