Jury Still Out On San Diego ‘Brownouts’

The mayor of San Diego and several City Council members are monitoring their recently-implemented ‘brownouts’ amid concerns over the death of an 83-year-old man. Sam Taylor died in a fire at his apartment, probably caused by a faulty space heater, when help failed to arrive in time.

In an article on the San Diego Union-Tribune website, Craig Gustafson says the decision to sideline up to eight fire engines per day, as of February 6th, has led to longer response times and delayed medical treatment.

Instead of a fire engine (which was out of service on ‘brownout’ that day), a firetruck arrived on the scene when Taylor’s apartment was on fire. But the firetruck, which had no water hoses or pump, meant firefighters had to enter Taylor’s apartment. The intense heat, however, prevented them from going further than six feet in. Instead, Gustafson writes, “they had to wait until an engine from the Barrio Logan station – two miles away – showed up three minutes and 29 seconds later with hoses and water.”

A public safety committee report has shown that seven stations saw their response times get longer by four to 56 seconds compared with the same period a year earlier, says the article.

To read the article, click here:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/mar/29/alarm-sounded/