Upland Fire Department shuttered after 100 years

UPLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- After more than 100 years, the Upland Fire Department will soon cease to exist, with San Bernardino County Fire taking over.

But north of town, in an area known as San Antonio Heights, many residents aren't sad. They're furious, because they say they had no voice in the matter.

"At least give us an opportunity to vote," said resident Katie Hawthorne. "Why are our Constitutional rights being taken away?"

San Antonio Heights is covered by San Bernardino County Fire Station 12, which will now cover Upland as well.

Hawthorne is worried about her neighborhood's fire service being watered down.

"So now our station has to cover, not just San Antonio Heights, but Upland as well."

But what upsets the folks in San Antonio Heights even more is this: Because Station 12 is now going to have to cover part of Upland, they're going to be adding a third firefighter, but who pays for it?

The people in San Antonio Heights say Upland isn't going to be stuck with the bill -- they are.

It's a little complicated, but Kathleen Rollings-McDonald of San Bernardino County's Local Agency Formation Commission says the way the so-called mutual aid agreement stands right now, if station-12's engine is busy and there's a medical call, the closest engine would be in Fontana.

But once Station 12 has a three-man crew, engines could respond from both Rancho Cucamonga and Upland.

"Having a three-man crew allows them to have mutual aid from closest in surrounding entities," said Rollings-McDonald.
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