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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Monterey Park : Fire Consolidation Rally

August 27, 1992

About 40 firefighters and their backers demonstrated in front of City Hall before Monday night's City Council meeting, calling for the consolidation of the Fire Department, which they contend is too small, with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The Monterey Park Fire Department has 42 firefighters, only half as many as neighboring Alhambra, a city roughly the same size, said Jim Birrell, president of the Monterey Park Firefighters Assn. Birrell said the department has only one more firefighter than it had 20 years ago.

City firefighters are attempting to persuade officials to approve a $6,000 study by the Los Angeles County Fire Department that they think will show that incorporating city fire services with the county would save Monterey Park $600,000 to $1.2 million annually. The association has offered to pay half the cost, Birrell said.

A petition signed by 2,000 residents in support of a merger with the county was presented to the city July 27. However, officials claim that there is no money for the study and that firefighters are attempting to couple the issue with the fact that they have been working without a contract since July 1.

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