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Civil Grand Jury says that multiple Monterey Fire stations need to get refurbished

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Wednesday afternoon, The Monterey County Civil Grand Jury report released a report about the state of the Monterey Fire Department.

In the report, the Civil Grand Jury said that department exceeds national fire response standards but lacks funding presently and in the future.

The report points to aging infrastructure and substandard working conditions for their crew.

Grand Jury members said that multiple items require immediate attention include replacing an aging fire engine and mental health services for fire crews.

The Civil Grand Jury released the report in light of a complaint regarding leadership, promotions and facility safety.

The report said that all three fire stations within the city of Monterey were built in the 1950s and they have not been remodeled.

In November 2023, the Monterey Firefighters Association issued a vote of no confidence against then Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer. Panholzer retired in Dec. 2023.

Andrew Miller was named chief since early 2024.

The Monterey Firefighter Union said that they feel vindicated by the grand jury report's findings.

"Our labor union is optimistic about the future of the Monterey Fire Department and committed to working with the new administration to address the concerns raised in the report."

Monterey Firefighters Local 3707 President Ross Pounds

Monterey Fire Chief Andrew Miller said that the city and the fire department are working together to make sure some of these changes are addressed.

"Together with our elected officials, staff, labor, and firefighters, we had recognized the issues contained in this report several months ago.” Miller said in a statement. “Several of the items of concern are either resolved, in-progress, or in the planning phase.”

To read the full report, click here.

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Derrick Ow

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