At community's urging, McCloud board reconsiders lucrative fire department contract

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
McCloud's new Fire Department Chief Charlie Miller stands in front of the mostly new volunteer firefighters  he recruited in hopes of making the department more self-sufficient and prepared to serve the McCloud community.

After receiving numerous letters and emails in support of a contract that would bring money to the McCloud Fire Department to provide services to an expanded area, the McCloud Community Services District Board reversed their April 12 decision and approved the agreement.

The Zone of Increased Benefits/California Service Area 4 offers $30,000 to the McCloud Fire Department to cover the greater area around McCloud, which the fire department already does cover, said chief Charlie Miller.

The contract was revisited on Monday, and this time it was unanimously approved.

A total of 21 responses from McCloud residents were submitted to the MCSD board, all claiming that the board was hasty in their April 12 decision with a lack of discussion prior to the vote. 

More:McCloud Fire Department disappointed that ZIB contract wasn't approved

On Monday, Chief Miller explained the training qualifications that the volunteer firefighters received and the qualifications they must have and including the laws which they must follow. After, he said, “I see this contract as a win/win situation. I thought there would be more questions and more comments. Last year, there were 25 calls in the ZIB. The McCloud Fire Department did not miss any of these mutual aid calls. We can provide the services in this contract.”

During the April 12 meeting, the MCSD board asked only two questions after the CAL FIRE Siskiyou County Fire Warden, Phil Anzo explained the contract. 

“I feel that there was a lot of misinformation,” saud board member Christine Richey, who was one of the people who originally did not support the contract, along with Michael Rorke and Cathy Young.

Rorke, who was one of three gave a summary of the reasons he initially voted against accepting the contract. 

More:Red wine and walking: 107-year-old McCloud woman says these are secrets to longevity

More:House on the move: Historic rectory picked up, relocated in McCloud

District 1 Supervisor Brandon Criss, who is also a volunteer firefighter of 16 years, joined Anzo, McCloud Fire Department Assistant Chief Kirk Thomsen, and firefighter Michael Worthington in giving examples of how the department is qualified to uphold the contract.

The board revoted, this time unanimously in favor of the contract. Board president Cathy Young was absent from the meeting.