San Miguel Fire District


The district employs about 100 people and staffs six fire stations. It covers Spring Valley, Casa de Oro, La Presa, Mount Helix, Rancho San Diego and unincorporated areas of La Mesa and El Cajon, providing service to 150,000 residents.

Nov 2006

Five candidates are running for three seats on the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District board. Chris Winter did not return a questionnaire.

  • Richard J. (Rick) Augustine: Member, Skyline Church (NO).
  • Tom Clark - endorsement from the Republican Party of San Diego County (NO)

  • Jim Custeau (YES)
Cuyamaca College Automotive Technology Program coordinator/instructor

Age: 57

Offices: None

Involvement: Member and past president, Spring Valley Kiwanis, 2002-present. Past participation in Little League, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and PTA.

Education: SDSU, bachelor's degree in industrial studies/health science & safety, 1972; National University, master's degree in educational administration, 1986.

Statement: I support training and modern equipment for fire personnel, will seek to enhance paramedic service and the ability to defend property in the wild land interface. Endorsed by San Miguel firefighters.

Qualifications: I have 32 years of experience as a teacher and leader in education. I understand how to work with management and labor to find solutions to fiscal and personnel issues.

Issues: Clearly expansion and consolidation of fire districts to allow more efficient fire service is the number one issue in this campaign. I will work to bring about expansion and consolidation agreements that improve San Miguel's ability to provide enhanced, fiscally sound fire service.

Secondly, San Diego is approaching the third anniversary of the devastating Cedar fire and little if any progress has been made toward improving our ability to protect lives and property in a similar emergency.

Thirdly, increasing staffing levels to National Fire Protection Association guidelines on critical first-response apparatus will enhance firefighters' ability to safely rescue family members from burning buildings.
  • David Rickards (YES)
Fire engineer/paramedic, Age: 45

Offices: Board member, San Miguel Fire Protection District, 1998-present.

Involvement: No response.

Education: Cuyamaca College, associate's degree in business administration, 1997.

Statement: My fire service background gives me a unique perspective of the needs of firefighters and district residents alike. I want to continue to give you the best fire protection possible.

Qualifications: Endorsed by the San Miguel firefighters. Nineteen-year veteran firefighter and paramedic in the East County. I work well with the current board to provide you with better service.

Issues: Funding: Wise use of resources has been paramount to maintaining our fire department. I consistently vote to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely. Grant dollars have given us the ability to purchase new equipment that would not otherwise have been possible.

Fire district consolidation: Ever since the Cedar fire, we have been looking at ways to improve fire protection through consolidation. I am for plans that are properly funded and provide better levels of service.

New training facility: I will support continued efforts to make this a reality.

-- Raymond Lutz - 06 Nov 2006
Topic revision: r1 - 07 Nov 2006, RaymondLutz
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