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Lathrop eliminates doubts of which fire district is in charge

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POSTED April 18, 2017 12:28 a.m.

The Lathrop Manteca Fire District is now the official entity in charge of enforcing the fire code inside of the city limits of the City of Lathrop.
On Monday the Lathrop City Council voted 4-0 – with councilman Steve Dresser absent – to formally designate the LMFD as the official fire code compliance entity for the City of Lathop.
According to the staff report, providing that service has been something that the district has done since the city was founded in 1989, but changes to the municipal code in recent years left the matter in a little bit of a grey area.
And they weren’t the only ones vying for the title and the abilities that come with it.
Just one week after the district became the first EMS operation in the County of San Joaquin to incorporate new enhanced skills for its EMTs which will allow them to administer naloxone and epinephrine on patients that are either suffering from a drug addiction or an allergic reaction, respectively, representatives from the agency that served as the focus group for the pilot conducted by the county criticized the LMFD’s use of the word “first” when they were the ones who ran the pilot program.
And heading into Monday’s meeting, the Lathrop City Council was also presented with a letter of protest from French Camp-McKinley Fire District Chief Fred Manding who took issue with the district’s attempt to secure the fire code compliance title within the boundaries of a city that they have historically always provided that service for.
Manding, who was appointed to serve as the fire chief for LMFD in 2009 following the retirement of longtime chief Jim Monty, was ultimately replaced by current Fire Chief Gene Neely.
The council approved LMFD’s request on Monday without much discussion.
Manding, who was working as the fire marshal for LMFD when he was ultimately promoted to interim chief and then chief for a brief time, was at one time the one tasked with enforcing the very code that he was fighting to one day reclaim some of the territory that has been annexed to the City of Lathrop in the wake of widespread development.
According to one source familiar with the matter, the annexation approvals made by LAFCo without the necessary clarification has only muddied the waters even more between the two districts, which share a common border.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call 209.249.3544.

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