PORTERVILLE POLICE, FIRE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE/9-1-1 SAFETY MEASURE. In order to increase the number of police and firefighters, expand neighborhood crime prevention efforts, improve 9-1-1 response times and communication, upgrade the 9-1-1 dispatch center, build a new fire station, and expand and improve anti-gang, anti-drug and anti-bullying programs, the sales tax is increased by one-half cent with citizens oversight and independent annual performance and financial audits.
Funding from Measure H has allowed the Fire Department to increase its workforce, reduce emergency response times and improve the level of service provided to the community. Through Measure H, eight additional full-time Firefighters were added to the Department’s roster, bringing the total full-time workforce to 39 positions. Measure H continues to support these eight positions, which are represented throughout the ranks of the Department, including Firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant, and Captain. Seven are assigned to the Operations Division and respond to emergency incidents 365 days a year. One is in the Prevention Division and serves as the Department’s first full-time Fire Investigator.
Engine 371, a GMC C5500 Duramax 4X4 with a 500 gallon per minute pump and a 400 gallon tank, was built by Rosenbauer America based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the Porterville Fire Department. Engine 371’s base cost was $153,099.76 with an additional cost of $13,386.82 for equipment and hoses. All costs associated with Engine 371 were paid for through Measure H funding. The Porterville Fire Department took delivery of Engine 371 in March of 2009. Engine 371 was designed and built to respond to the numerous river fires and to assist in protecting the City of Porterville’s mountainous areas as well as structure protection. The engine is equipped with both wildland and structural firefighting equipment which includes 2700 feet of hose and has foam capabilities.