Be A Responsible Citizen - Vote Tuesday April 19th PUSD Seat 6 Run Off

Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:
Monrovia Police Blotter

More News:

Education & Youth:
Hall Pass

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

Arts & Entertainment:
Music News
Jeff's Pics
Sean's Shameless Reviews

Legal Notices:

Left Turn / Right Turn:
Susan Henderson
As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn

My Turn
Stuart Tolchin On …
The Funnies

The World Around Us:
On Line
Looking Up
Ask jai …
Happy Tails
… This and That

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Homes & Property:
One of a Kind

More News:
Rich Johnson

F. Y. I. :

Map: Sierra Madre mud and debris flow
News and info about
Sierra Madre mud
and debris flow

Meaghan Allen
Sue Behrens
Chris Bertrand
Jeff Brown
P. J. Carpenter
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Hail Hamilton
Howard W. Hays
Susan Henderson
Jai Johnson
Rich Johnson
Sean Kayden
Chris LeClerc
Stuart Tolchin
Katie Tse
Gregory J. Wellborn

Recent Issues:
Issue 15
Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1

Be A Responsible Citizen - Vote Tuesday April 19th

PUSD Seat 6 Run Off



A New Beginning....Gas Sold Here

Courageous businessman buys gas station and makes a fresh start.



In February of this year, 
just a few months after 
the discovery of a criminal 
operation at the location, 
businessman Bishara Kiwar 
saw an opportunity to 
do things the right way. Although 
by his own admission 
he has never before 
owned a gas station, he 
knew the property owner, 
George Attar and thought 
that the acquisition of the 
station was a sound business 

 The station, where the 
EVG station once stood, 
is now an Alliance Gas 
Station, independent of 
both Valero and the EVG 

 Kiwar is as of yet undecided 
as to whether he will have a retail operation in the area 
where mechanical work was once done. He is certain however, 
that he will operate the station with integrity and become an asset 
to the community. He does not know the persons involved with 
the previous station. Photo and caption by S. Henderson/MVNews 

The Sierra Madre City Council voted Tuesday night to approve 
a re-structuring of the Sierra Madre Fire Department 
that would eliminate the Paramedics Coordinator position 
and the Fire Marshal position, and add three paid Captain 
positions. The current Paramedic Coordinator and Fire 
Marshal would remain as Captains, and their duties would 
be incorporated into the duties of the new Captains position.

Reason for Restructuring

The restructuring was described by Chief Steve Heydorff in 
the Staff report as “The next step in the continuous improvement 
of the Sierra Madre Fire Department.” According to 
Heydorff, the intent of the restructuring is to “improve response 
times, enhance supervision and bring the department 
closer to the goal of automatic aid.”

According to Heydorff, staffing a fire engine requires one 
captain, one engineer (driver and pump operator) and two 
firefighters. The least expensive schedule for 24/7 on-site 
staffing requires three captains, three engineers and six firefighters. 
Currently, the firefighter positions are adequately 
filled by volunteers, with the availability of captains and engineers 
varying daily. Heydorff stated that the proposal he 
was presenting seeks to ensure the constant staffing of the 
fire engine by a qualified captain. 

Currently, the “firefighter” portion of the staffing has 2 to 4 
volunteer firefighters in the station 24/7. Over time, this has 
evolved from these positions mostly filled by local residents 
to the current status, in which most of the firefighters are 
recent academy graduates who are not residents of the City, 
who volunteer to complete an apprenticeship that will result 
in state firefighter certification.

The captains staffing is, however, a “combination” model, 
which consists of paid and volunteer participants filling 
the role of captain. Weekdays, the captain role is taken by 
the fire marshal and the paramedic coordinator. However, 
weeknights and weekends, the captain role is filled by volunteers 
who respond from home to the fire station. This slows 
down response times, because the engine can not leave the 
station until the captain arrives. According to Heydorff, the 
possibility that the volunteer may not receive the call or may 
be unable to respond is the main reason that Sierra Madre 
is not included in the 12-city Unified Response automatic 
aid agreement. Under Unified Response, when 11 of the 12 
participating cities experience a structure fire, additional resources 
are automatically dispatched from neighboring cities 
at the same time that the engine from the city in which 
the structure is located is dispatched. In Sierra Madre, part 
of the time, our engine must wait for the captain to arrive at 
the structure, then verbally request mutual aid from other 
agencies. Sierra Madre’s inability to guarantee immediate 
dispatch by having an on-site captain has prevented its inclusion 
in the reciprocity agreement.

Chief Heydorff also stated that analysis of recent data indicates 
that response times could be cut by two minutes if captains 
were in place at the station full time. According to the 
Chief, in the initial stage of a fire, it doubles in size every two 
minutes, so cutting the response time by two minutes could 
mean the difference between confining the fire to the room 
in which it started or allowing it to spread to other parts of 
the structure. He also noted that while paramedics generally 
arrive on the scene two minutes earlier than the engine 
when the captains are not at the station, they are unable to 
begin advance life support until the engines arrive on the 
scene because they are busy with basic life support issues. 
That two minutes could prove critical to some patients, particularly 
those in need of resuscitation due to cardiac arrest.

Chief Heydorff also stated that the addition of round the 
clock captain staffing at the station would improve supervision, 
training, teamwork, maintenance, and performance.

Cost of Adding Full-time Captain Position

Cost to add a full-time paid captain to the department (two 
of the three captain positions are already funded as fire marshal 
and paramedic coordinator) is estimated at approximately 
$130,000/yr. Salary would be somewhere between 
$66,357 and $84,690 a year, with the balance up to $130,000 
made up by benefits and retirement. CalPERS designates 
the position as “public safety personnel” which means a 
higher percentage of employer and employee retirement 
costs compared to non-public safety personnel. A survey of 
salaries for captains at fire departments of five local communities 
(Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Marino and South 
Pasadena) showed that on average captains are paid $80,637 
to $101,400, with South Pasadena the lowest at $74,340 to 

Chief Heydorff and four battalion chiefs made a presentation 
to the Kiwanis Club on March 15th that discussed the 
proposed (now approved) restructuring of the Department. 
To view that video, 
go to: www.sierramadrenews.

Story courtesy of 

B. Coburn

Photo courtesy 

Inside This Edition...


Sierra Madre News Page 3

Pasadena/Altadena Page 4

Arcadia Page 5

Monrovia/Duarte Page 6

More News For You Page 7 

Education & Youth Page 8

Good Food & Drink Page 9

Arts & Entertainment Page 10

Legals Page 11

Left/Right Page 12

Opinion Page 13

The World Around Us Page 14

 The Good Life Page 15

Homes & Property Page 16

SPORTS Page 17

 FYI Page 18 


Election Day in PUSD and the City of Pasadena. A consolidated General 
Election will be held in the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena 
Unified School District on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, for the following 
officers: for one Member of the Pasadena City Council, District 4 
(for a full term of four years) and for one Member of the Pasadena 
Board of Education, Seat 6 (for a full term of four years). Polls will be 
open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. For polling locations, 
go to

Read The Paper Online At:

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548