Clovis News

Tarpey emergency calls shift to county

Residents of Tarpey Village on the southern edge of Clovis will be served solely by the Fresno County Fire Protection District beginning Sunday.

Since 2006, the Clovis Fire Department has responded to medical-aid calls to the county island of 4,000 residents under an agreement that paid the city department $950 per medical-aid call. Likewise, the county is paid $950 if county firefighters respond to a call in Clovis.

The two agencies created the "automatic aid" agreement to allow faster service to Tarpey residents from the nearest fire station, which is operated by Clovis at Minnewawa and Shaw avenues.

Under automatic aid, an emergency call from Tarpey immediately goes to the city.

But the district and city still are negotiating a new agreement, which won't be in place when the existing agreement expires Sunday.

Until they have a new agreement, said Mike DelPuppo, the county board's president, the city and fire district will not get paid to respond to calls in the other department's area.

Clovis and county firefighters used to operate under such a "mutual aid" agreement, but Clovis city officials requested a fee when they were making about 200 service calls yearly in Tarpey Village and not being paid to provide the service.

Earlier this year, the county fire district's board voted to end the agreement, saying it was too costly.

Residents don't seem worried about the upcoming switch, officials said.

DelPuppo said the only telephone calls to the fire district were concerns about whether taxes would be raised.

"They all were sent letters and no one appeared at the City Council meetings or our meetings," he said.

Service should not be an issue, DelPuppo said.

The Clovis fire station is closer, but the county fire district has improved technology in fire trucks and added staffing at their Sunnyside and Nees avenues station, their closest station to Tarpey, DelPuppo said.

He said the county can now get to calls as fast as Clovis.

The switch has not been an issue for Tarpey residents, said Bob Levinson, Tarpey Neighborhood Association president.

Clovis Mayor Harry Armstrong said he also has heard no concerns about the pending change.

There may be a slight difference in the time it takes for the departments to get to Tarpey, Armstrong said, but he added: "No matter who is coming, they always feel you didn't get there quick enough."