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City Council Meeting
Fire Investigation Services Agreement - City of Anaheim
Approve The Fire Investigation Services Contract between the City of Anaheim and City of Brea.
The California Fire Code requires the Brea Fire Department to investigate fires within its jurisdiction as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). When a fire agency cannot conduct the investigation, the AHJ may seek out other public agencies to assist in determining the cause and origin and pursue any criminal related follow-up as necessary. Fire investigation ultimately provides for increased community risk reduction, improved firefighting tactics, heightened public awareness, more focused prevention efforts, and reduced fire-related criminal activity.
The Brea Fire Department (BFD) historically has not had an internal fire/arson Investigation program. Recently, the BFD attempted to initiate an internal fire/arson investigation program, however was unable to do so due to a labor dispute. As is routine for the Orange County Operational Area, the BFD utilizes the specialties of its Orange County partner agencies to accomplish these needs. Although BFD has utilized the fire/arson investigation services of Anaheim Fire & Rescue for many years, Anaheim Fire & Rescue and the BFD seek to formalize the services and associated costs through a contract at the present time. As one of Brea’s nearby cities, Anaheim typically receives the first call for these services. Based on historical analysis, the BFD does not anticipate exceeding an annual expenditure of $3,500. During fire/arson investigations, the Brea Fire Chief and Fire Marshal remain the primary lead over the incident and work with the Anaheim investigators throughout the investigation. Coordination with the Brea Police Department for any criminal activity may be required as necessary.
The BFD may reconsider its own internal fire/arson investigation program in the not too distant future. In the event the BFD establishes its own fire/arson investigation program, the City will likely only require Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s investigation services on a very limited basis when exigent or unusual circumstances exist. A potential future BFD fire/arson investigation program would be self-sufficient and include criminal follow-up, limiting the impact on Brea PD. Formation of such program will be brought before City Council at a later date.
The Finance Committee reviewed staff’s recommendation at their August 10, 2021 meeting and recommended for Council approval.
The projected impact to the General Fund would be $3,500.
William Gallardo, City Manager
Prepared by: Adam Loeser, Fire Chief
Fire Investigator Services Agmt
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