If you are a Cayucos voter or property owner, you have probably received a notice from Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) about the pending dissolution of the Cayucos Fire Department due to funding and staffing issues. Please do not fear this transition, and please do not file a protest.
San Luis Obispo County will add Cayucos to its contract with Cal Fire, which has been in place for 88 years, at no added cost to Cayucos beyond the fire tax we pay (currently $112/year, which is already the highest in the entire unincorporated area with the exception of just a few hundred homes). Cal Fire will staff our fire truck, which will be stationed at our downtown Cayucos fire station, with at least two firefighters plus a duty officer 24/7, just like the minimum coverage required under Cayucos Fire. The county will upgrade our fire station and maintain our fire equipment, which is getting very old. Cal Fire Chief Scott Jalpert would also like to create a reserve program with some of our current firefighters to further expand our emergency response. This is a good, solid plan.
Some have feared that our fire truck will be called away to outlying areas and leave Cayucos exposed, but this is not a reasonable concern. Cayucos will be part of the Cal Fire system, with the ebb and flow of major resources as events take place. If our truck is called away to another nearby area of the county, another Cal Fire truck would be dispatched immediately to cover us.
Please do not file a protest and pass on this offer. The county is unlikely to offer it again. Our fire department barely managed to scrape by this year and last.
Linda Van Fleet