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RSG helps clear the way for City of Vernon to save $30 Million over the next three years in fire department costs with LA County Fire Municipal Services Review and SOI Update

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On July 8, 2020, the City of Vernon initiated proceedings to annex into the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County (“CFPD”), which is projected to save the City over $30 million in the next 3 years in fire and EMS costs.  The annexation became possible after the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angles (LA LAFCO) adopted the CFPD’s Municipal Service Review (MSR) and Sphere of Influence (SOI) update, prepared by RSG. With a unanimous vote, the Commission approved the MSR and amended the CFPD sphere of influence allowing up to six LA County cities to annex.  The MSR reviews the operational and geographic character of the CFPD and was initiated due to recent consideration by six local government fire departments expressing potential interest in annexing authority and services to CFPD. The adopted Municipal Service Review can be found here.

The CFPD is a dependent special district providing fire protection service to 58 cities and all unincorporated areas in the County of Los Angeles, as well as the City of La Habra in Orange County. It is governed by the Board of Supervisors and funded by a combination of property taxes, fees for service, and other revenues. In total, the CFPD employs a total of approximately 4,700 full-time employees across all its operations and administrative services.

In conducting our review, RSG evaluated the variety of services carried out by the CFPD, including costs and funding structure, response times and standards, opportunity for shared facilities, station location, and service level delivery. In addition, RSG evaluated other large fire agencies throughout the state including the LA City Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District to gain insight in comparison to the overall operation of the CFPD.

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RSG recommended that the SOI be expanded to allow for the consideration of future annexation of the six potential cities carrying out fire services at the local level, should the given city and CFPD agree to appropriate terms. Following the adoption of the MSR, the City of Vernon’s application for annexation was considered and approved by the Commission, leading to the transitioning of its fire services over to the CFPD.  As a result, the City anticipates a reduction in costs by approximately $30 million over the next three years and over $120 million across the next 10 years.

RSG’s blend of expertise and forward thinking allows us to provide cutting-edge solutions for local government agencies, including outsourcing, shared service studies, and long-range fiscal planning.  We have helped numerous LAFCOs develop policies for island annexations and have worked with multiple cities on crafting a viable path in delivering services to areas in their sphere of influence.  In helping cities understand how they need to restructure the services they deliver, we have been able to help them shape the manner in which they evaluate how they will take discretionary actions in the future.  With our assistance, our clients have been able to instill a greater practice of fiscal discipline at all levels of their organization, increase efficiency, and effectively engage staff in identifying solutions that meet the strategic needs of their community.  For questions or further inquiries, please contact RSG Senior Analyst Greg Cleary at [email protected]