The Riverside County Fire Department, in cooperation with CAL FIRE, serves the citizens and businesses of Desert Hot Springs with two Fire Stations, one located on Pierson Boulevard, the other located on Karen Avenue, near Skyborne. As the City population grows and new homes and buildings are constructed, the need for additional Fire Stations with paramedics becomes greater and more urgent. When a person stops breathing, brain damage can result in less than five minutes. Ambulance response times for calls to the east side of the City can take as long as eight minutes. Although our fire and rescue services perform superbly and heroically for us, we can no longer ignore their travel time to the east end of the City, given our rising population numbers and often-heavy traffic.
The City is making improvements to fire station 37. We expect to break ground in January of 2024. And, we hope to break ground and begin construction of fire station 98 in March of 2024, once all of the funding is made available to us. Our new Police Dispatch (911) Center opened in February of 2023. You will be interested to know that DHS is the first city in California to go live with the new state-mandated NextGen 911 “Cloud Based Dispatch System”. Our dispatch center responded to 28,494 calls within the first six months of operation.
Our residents are fortunate to have dedicated and heroic first responders keeping us safe and protected. Supporting our first responders and securing adequate funding for increased fire services is a top priority of mine. Funding is tight, but I will do my best to make sure that we have two new fire stations that will result in even better response times, and increase the broad blanket of protection that we expect and deserve.