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County sets rural fire response standards, delays funding decisions

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted new benchmarks to measure and guide county firefighting coverage in unincorporated areas.

The policy adopts national response time standards that six of the county's 15 volunteer fire departments are currently not meeting.

Supervisors voiced an interest in resolving those service gaps, but the board postponed action on recommendations by fire officials, including a boost in manpower and money for the volunteer departments.

"We recognize there is absolutely a challenge when it comes to funding," said Supervisor Efren Carrillo, who vowed a "healthy and robust discussion" about the budget for county fire services in the future.

Six of the 15 volunteer departments are centered in Carrillo's west county district, with five in Supervisor David Rabbitt's south county district and two each in Mike McGuire's and Valerie Brown's districts.


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