Monday, May 24, 2010

San Mateo and Foster City to Share Fire Chief Dan Belville

The cities of San Mateo and Foster City are pleased to announce the appointment of San Mateo Fire Chief Dan Belville to also serve as Fire Chief for the Foster City Fire Department effective July 1, 2010.  Fire Chief Belville will succeed Foster City Fire Chief Tom Reaves who is retiring in June.  A shared services agreement is being prepared for approval by the City Councils of both San Mateo and Foster City.

Fire Chief Dan Belville is highly qualified to assume the leadership of both departments and to assess the potential for additional opportunities for shared fire services.  Fire Chief Belville has the full confidence and support of both City Managers.  Fire Chief Belville will remain an employee of San Mateo and San Mateo will be reimbursed by Foster City for its share (50%) of his compensation.  City Manager Susan Loftus will continue to provide overall supervision of Fire Chief Belville, who will also report to City Manager Jim Hardy to represent both cities for full-service emergency response services.

The retirement in June of Foster City Fire Chief Tom Reaves presents an opportunity to pursue shared fire services between our communities, particularly with respect to the management and administrative support functions and programs of the respective fire departments.  San Mateo and Foster City are interested in exploring shared fire services as a way of delivering these important public safety services to our communities at a reduced cost.  Both cities believe they have an obligation to the taxpayers to study cost-effective service delivery alternatives.

San Mateo and Foster City are natural partners for shared fire services given their geographic proximity and a long history of working together under the current County model of delivering fire services which includes the centralized dispatching of the closest fire resources to a particular call to minimize response times. Both San Mateo and Foster City are open to consider these shared fire service opportunities as they are identified.  The cities have made no decisions or predeterminations about the outcome of such an exploration but will keep an open mind as findings and recommendations are made.

The cities are committed to taking the time to fully analyze these shared fire service opportunities and evaluate their merits prior to making a decision.  Decisions will ultimately be made based on what is most advantageous to the cities of San Mateo and Foster City.  What is in the best interests of each community will be a guiding principle in this decision-making process.

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