Fire Services at Monterey Regional Airport
A Message from Executive Director Michael La Pier
Over the past few weeks, the City of Monterey and its firefighters have been actively misleading the general public about the Airport District’s role in providing off-airport fire services and our plan to build a new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Station on the north side of the runway. To be clear, the responsibility to provide fire protection to the communities that surround the airport rests solely with the City of Monterey, City of Del Rey Oaks, and The County of Monterey.
This new ARFF station will replace the existing fire station that the airport owns on the south side of the runway in order to make way for a new terminal building. These developments are part of the Safety Enhancement Program prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration. It is important to the Airport District that accurate facts are presented to the public so that you can better understand the real facts behind this important matter.
To that end, please review the Frequently Asked Questions below to answer many of the questions you may have on this issue. We’d also like to assure the community that the safety of our passengers and employees is our utmost priority and that our fire services will continue to provide the highest level of fire protection to our airport community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question that is not answered below? Feel free to Contact Us and we will do our best to provide a timely response.
Is the Airport District part of the City of Monterey?
No. The Airport District is a Special District formed by the State of California. The District is independent of any local government agency and is solely responsible for the operations of the Monterey Regional Airport. The District is a true enterprise fund and the greater part of the operating revenue comes from airport user fees, tenant leases and other rates and charges. All of which are used to operate and maintain the Monterey Regional Airport.
Is the Airport District responsible for providing fire protection services?
Yes, but its responsibility is to serve on-airport property only and is a specialized type of fire protection called Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF). We also have the responsibility to provide fire protection for structures on-airport only. Until 2014, the Airport District operated its own fire operations on-airport. Beginning in 2014, the District selected the City of Monterey to provide services via two consecutive 5-year contracts to provide staffing for ARFF, fire protection and emergency services.
The City currently operates out of the Airport-owned fire station located on airport property. Further, the City uses Airport-owned fire vehicles to provide fire coverage on-airport and off-airport. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement for either party. The current agreement contains a one-year notice of cancellation clause for both parties. The Airport exercised this option in October 2022 to begin the Request for Proposals process for services at the relocated facility as required by the FEA and FEIR.
Who provides fire protection services to the neighborhoods surrounding the airport?
Fire protection services off-airport have always been the sole responsibility of the surrounding jurisdictions. Under the current agreement between the Airport District and the City, the Airport District allows the City to use one Airport-owned structural fire truck to respond to off-airport calls. However, this arrangement does not transfer or obligate off-airport responsibility onto the Airport District. That responsibility for neighborhoods within the City of Monterey remains completely with the City of Monterey as recognized in the City General Plan.
Why did the Airport publish a Request for Proposals for Airport Fire and Related Emergency Services?
As a part of the Airport’s Safety Enhancement Program, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined the only feasible location for a relocated ARFF station is on the north side of the runway. The City notified the Airport District in April 2020 that the new location would not meet its off-airport response time requirements for structural fire and emergency services to the surrounding neighborhoods, therefore the new location would be of no benefit to the City. The City of Monterey also provided comments to the FAA during the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA) indicating their requirement to have the new fire station designated for on-airport use only.
For the Airport District to meet its obligation to provide continuous ARFF services, it was determined that a Request for Proposals process be undertaken on a timeline that is consistent with the completion of the relocated north side ARFF station, which is scheduled for October 2023. Any provider would need adequate time, up to six months, to prepare for operating fire and emergency services from the new location for airport users, tenants, employees and patrons at opening.
Who is Pro-Tec Fire Services, and will the firefighters be fully trained?
Pro-Tec is a private company providing contract Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting and emergency services at twenty-five (25) airports throughout the United States and Canada since 1974. As with the City of Monterey firefighters, Pro-Tec firefighters are required to meet all training requirements set forth by the FAA, National Fire Protection Association, State of California and EMS training standards. Additionally, Pro-Tec personnel will be hired locally or go through an internal relocation process. All employees will live within a one-hour radius of the Airport.
If the Pro-Tec proposal is chosen, the Airport will receive 100% dedication of resources, except in the case of a Mutual Aid Response. The City General Plan, Safety Element Policy E2, states the City of Monterey will continue to work with the Airport District through a fire mutual aid agreement.
What is the financial comparison between the Pro-Tec and City of Monterey proposals?
Please review the table below for the financial comparison of the received proposals.
Mobile users: Flip to landscape to view full table.
|Initial Proposal||Initial Proposal||Alternate Proposal||Existing Contract|
|Pro-Tec||Monterey Fire||Monterey Fire||Monterey Fire|
|Overtime & Out-of-Class||-||$308,162||$184,997||-|
|Year 1 Total||$1,730,000||$3,124,597||$1,787,572.98||-|
|Less: E&O Coverage||(80,000)||-||-||-|
|Year 1 Grand Total||$1,650,000||$3,124,597||$1,787,573||$1,344,720|
|Year 2 Grand Total||$1,708,000 (4%)||$3,280,827 (5%)||$1,876,952 (5%)||-|
|Year 3 Grand Total||$1,776,000 (4%)||$3,444,868 (5%)||$1,970,799 (5%)||-|
|3-Year Contract Total||$5,214,000||$9,850,292||$5,635,324||-|
Monterey Fire Initial Proposal in Excess of Pro-Tec for 3-Year Contract: $4,636,292 (89%)
Monterey Fire Alternate Proposal in Excess of Existing Contract: $442,853 (33%)
What is the staffing comparison between the Pro-Tec and City of Monterey proposals?
Staffing for Pro-Tec
The Pro-Tec proposal assumes 100% dedication of resources to the Airport, except in the case of a Mutual Aid response. All Captains and Firefighters will be EMTs.
|Three (3) Captains each working a 24-hr shift||100%|
|Six (6) Firefighters each working a 24-hr shift||100%|
|One (1) Fire Chief working a 40-hr admin work week||100%|
Staffing for Monterey Fire
Based on the shared cost model (Alternate Proposal), the engine may be used outside of the Airport’s geographic boundaries whenever deemed operationally necessary by the Fire Chief or a designee. To maintain the same cost share (based on the proportion of responses between on-Airport and off-Airport property), MFD requests that the Airport work with the City collaboratively in finding a suitable location for the engine and personnel assigned to it, to be staged on the south side of the airfield during daytime hours.
|Three (3) Captains||100%||20.4%|
|Three (3) Engineers||0%||20.4%|
|Three (3) Engineers (ARFF)||100%||100%|
|Three (3) Firefighters||100%||20.4%|
|Three (3) Division Chiefs||7.6%||7.3%|
|One (1) Deputy Fire Marshal||5%||5%|
|One (1) Fire Prevention Technician||3%||3%|
|One (1) Fire Prevention Inspector||20%||20%|