San Bernardino City Fire

San Bernardino County firefighter Dale Sandoval, peels off a new decal Wednesday at Fire Station 221 in San Bernardino in preparation for county fire’s takeover of the 137-year-old city fire department. The city’s fire services are being annexed into the county effective July 1 to save the bankrupt city money. (John Valenzuela – Staff Photographer)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 06/24/16 – 8:31 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Changes to the city’s 137-year-old Fire Department are underway, a week before the county takes over.

San Bernardino County Fire officially takes responsibility for the city’s fire, rescue and emergency medical services July 1, after a series of votes by officials who said the move would both save money and improve services.

Because of county schedules, the personnel swap will take place July 3, according to San Bernardino City Fire Chief Tom Hannemann.

That swap will involve about two-thirds of city staff taking jobs elsewhere in the county — including Hannemann himself, who will become an engine company captain in Fontana — and an equal number of county firefighters transferring into the city, he said.

But other switches are already happening, according to Hannemann.

“We’ve had quite a bit of logistical items being taken care of,” Hannemann said.

Technical support changes have been ongoing for months, fire rigs have been reconfigured to communicate with the county communication center, and officials have met regularly to ensure a smooth transition, he said.

“So far, we’ve been having weekly conference calls and everything seems to be moving along in a very direct and productive manner,” Hannemann said.

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