The earliest report that I have was one done in 1988 by Ryland Research out of Santa Barbara. This report was also commissioned by the Interim City Manager at that time. Who that person was, I’m not sure, my knowledge of Alameda City Managers doesn’t go that far. The summary suggests that there might have been some tensions between the City Administration and the Fire Department, since the report refers to a breakdown in communication contributing to problems between the two.
Quick warning, the report is huge!
It’s interesting to note that one of the suggestions in the ICMA report recommended “flattening” command staff. It’s in the Ryland report that the suggestion was to change “Administrative Chief” to “Deputy Chief” and “shift chief” to “Battalion Chief” to better distinguish command staff. (p.18)
And I have to say one of the best things about the Ryland report is the snapshot of how much of the budget was devoted to Public Safety way back when. I recall a commenter mentioning that Fire was only 15% of the general fund budget in 1996. But according to the Ryland report in 1988-1989 both Fire and Police already made up more than 50% of the GF:
The number was about the same in 1987-1988. Unless there was some serious cutting done from 1988-1989 to 1996, that 15% number is probably incorrect.
Today, the number is around 63% to Public Safety from the General Fund which is alot, but a 13% rise in 24 years (1988 – 2012) is not as shocking as a 33% rise in 16 years (1996 to 2012) as the previous commenter had suggested had happened:
Here’s another good chart which details out the actual and constant dollars spent on the Fire Department budget as early as 1979 until 1987:
That would be a great chart to have today for comparison’s sake.
Worth a read for historical sake if you are interested in seeing what the problems with the Fire Department were deemed to be 24 years ago and where they are today.