On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the City of Ceres’ fire protection services officially merged with the City of Modesto’s Fire Department to provide a regional approach to fire response.
Through a joint services agreement, Modesto Fire now provides the following services within Ceres’ jurisdictional boundaries:
• Fire protection, prevention and suppression services.
• Emergency medical response.
• Emergency preparedness.
• Mitigation of incidents with hazardous materials.
• Special operations including, but are not limited to, confined space rescue, technical rescue and water rescue.
“Regionalization is truly government at its best! This contract for service agreement is a true partnership between the cities of Ceres and Modesto that will improve public safety and realize fiscal efficiencies,” stated Modesto Fire Chief Alan Ernst. “We are honored to serve the communities of Ceres, Modesto, Oakdale, and the Oakdale Fire Protection District.”
Modesto now oversees all administrative functions of the department, including payroll and other employee benefits. The combined fire staff will continue to operate out of the three Ceres fire stations and use the same equipment with the Ceres logo. Under the new agreement, and for the first time, the Ceres community will have access to paramedics trained in advanced life support and staff with more technical rescue skills.
This partnership is an innovative and cost-effective approach to regional fire services. The continued regionalization model allows for the operational efficiencies of firefighters working under the same operating procedures, command structure, and training program. This approach saves money and reduces duplicative services and administrative redundancies. These efficiencies will allow the City of Ceres to have more firefighters on the street and increase EMS services by adding a paramedic to one of their fire engines.
Modesto and Ceres City Councils both approved the new, five-year agreement, which will be effective from August 3, 2021, through June 30, 2026, with the option of an additional two-year extension after that.
On Tuesday, the cities of Modesto and Ceres held a ribbon cutting event at Station 15 in Ceres to celebrate the agreement and new partnership.