First meeting of Five Cities Fire Authority scheduled for Friday

The first board meeting of the combined Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano fire departments – called the Five Cities Fire Authority – will be held Friday to formalize the agreement and annual budget between the three entities.

The new agency includes 15 full-time fire engineers and captains and about 25 reserve firefighters.

The annual cost of more than $3.2 million will be split among the three communities. Arroyo Grande’s share is about $1.4 million, Grover Beach’s is $1.1 million and Oceano’s is $657,000.

The agreement solidifies a plan that has been more than six years in the making, local officials have said.

In 2004, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach decided to share a fire chief and a training captain. In 2008, an agreement was amended to include Oceano and to share reserves and equipment.

Also at Friday’s meeting, Five Cities Fire Authority fire personnel and board members will be given an oath of office, followed by a reception. The board is comprised of a representative from the Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach city councils and the Oceano Community Service District board.

The meeting will start at 3 p.m. at the South County Regional Center at 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande.

-Cynthia Lambert