Part of the San Jose Fire Department’s lagging 9-1-1 response times may have been just a matter of faulty record keeping.
An audit up for review by the Board of Supervisors next week says the city’s computer-aided dispatch would round up response times to the nearest minute. So a time of 7:51 would get logged as an 8-minute response, putting the city in violation of its contract with the county.
In 2011, the county entered into an agreement with the city to provide emergency response services. Per the agreement, the fire department has to respond within 7 minutes, 59 seconds in urban areas and 9 minutes, 59 seconds for suburban neighborhoods 90 percent of the time.
But performance reviews repeatedly showed a failure to meet those standards. After a few warnings over the past couple years, the county told the city in February that it would withhold payment unless it came up with a plan to fix the discrepancy.
The fire department hired an independent auditor, which revealed inaccuracies in its reporting software. Though the data’s preliminary, the county says it appears the agency has improved its response times outside of correcting the computer glitch. The county will follow up on the city audit with by getting its own management auditors to follow up on the case.
- Electronic cigarettes are about to get banned on county property and in apartment complexes. Supervisors will hold a hearing to work out details like how much to charge for an offense.
- More than $4.2 million was collected from residents to pay for mosquito and vector control.
- A new state law requires the county to identity sites for more homeless shelters. By the latest county, 730 homeless people live in unincorporated parts of the county. Supervisors want to designate several small shelters to accommodate them. But part of the problem is that a lot of residents or businesses don’t want shelters in their neighborhoods, event though it would improve the community’s quality of life by getting people off the streets. The county needs enough shelters to satisfy its state housing requirements and qualify for grants.
- Supervisors will consider renewing a contract with Parents Helping Parents, a peer-support organization for parents of children with special needs.
- Training for foster youth advocates will cost $75,000 through next year. There are 900 children in out-of-home placement countywide. Court-appointed advocates become friends and mentors. They get to know a child’s family, teachers, social workers and other people in their support network. They’re trained to understand the effects of trauma and learn to navigate the complexities of the child welfare system. Right now, there is a waiting list of 100 children waiting for an advocate.
- The county will renew an agreement with Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a mentorship program designed to keep juvenile offenders out in the community instead of behind bars. Mentors provide leadership and law-related education to at-risk youth.
- Mental health services will cost the county $197 million this year.
- Even though county social workers earn more than their peers across the state, the Social Services Agency has had a tough time filling vacancies.
- The county logged more than a million “extra help” hours last year, hiring part-time contract workers to take on higher-than-usual workloads.
- Zebra and quagga mussels are infesting our water supply. A group of local agencies are trying to secure a $500,000 grant to help rid the ecosystem of the invasive shellfish.
WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9:30am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001