FIREFIGHTERS UNION SAY TWENTYNINE PALMS COVERAGE AFFECTED IF WONDER VALLEY CLOSES

FIREFIGHTERS UNION SAY TWENTYNINE PALMS COVERAGE AFFECTED IF WONDER VALLEY CLOSES

The union that represents county firefighters is concerned about preliminary plans to close the Wonder Valley Fire Station while the Ludlow station remains unmanned. Firefighters Local 935 President Jim Grigoli said the current proposed county budget would see Wonder Valley close, leaving Twentynine Palms covered by a single fire engine with three firefighters. Grigoli said that the union would like to see the brush engine and staff of two currently at the Wonder Valley station be assigned to Twentynine Palms, in addition to the engine. He says because the Ludlow station remains unmanned, response to major crashes along I-40, some 100 miles away, formerly responded to by Wonder Valley, would result in Twentynine Palms being uncovered if their only engine responded. County fire officials say normally if Twentynine Palms equipment is on an incident, fire crews from other stations, such as Joshua Tree or Yucca Mesa, are brought in to cover. Ideally, the union said, the Ludlow station should be reactivated so I-40 response was faster and coverage in Twentynine Palms would not be affected. Budget negotiations between San Bernardino County Fire and county representatives continue this month with a July 1 deadline.

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