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Claremont, County Agree to Put Paramedics in City

September 17, 1989

CLAREMONT — The city of Claremont and the county Fire Department have resolved their dispute over paramedic service with an agreement that will station a paramedic squad in the city in return for annual payments starting at $115,000.

Bridget Distelrath, assistant city manager, said the agreement includes an assurance that a fire station at Mt. Baldy Road and Padua Avenue that had been scheduled to close next year will remain open until a replacement station can be built within the next three years. The county had planned to shut down the station because of concern about the building's ability to withstand an earthquake.

The city has been seeking improved paramedic service since 1987. Distelrath said it often takes 10 to 20 minutes for paramedics based at a county fire station in San Dimas to respond to calls in Claremont. The new squad should be able to respond to Claremont calls in five minutes, she said.

Until it approved the new agreement last week, the Claremont City Council had resisted offers by county fire officials to put a paramedic squad in Claremont--if the city would pay the cost.

Distelrath said the agreement meets the Fire Department's demand that it be compensated for the service, but also resolves other issues.

The Fire Department had proposed that the city channel its revenue from its downtown redevelopment project to the county fire protection district. Distelrath said the city has agreed to pay either that revenue or an equivalent amount from other sources to the district. The amount will be $115,000 this year, but is expected to escalate as property assessments in the downtown area rise.

The Fire Department estimates the first-year cost of putting a paramedic squad in Claremont at $229,000 for staffing and $32,000 for equipment.

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