Luckily, there were plenty of firefighters on hand to douse any errant flames from the barbecue.
The station officially reopened Jan. 16, nearly two years after budget cuts shuttered Clayton’s only fire station. It was one of seven stations closed by the county after a 2012 bond measure to help fund the Contra Costa Consolidated Fire Protection District failed.
During the past two years, it was staffed parttime by firefighters from Station 22 in Crystyl Ranch. Station 11 is the first to reopen after many Clayton residents, aided by Supervisor Karen Mitchoff ’s office, lobbied that the area needed fire protection services in town and with such close proximity to Mount Diablo. An improving economy and a federal SAFER grant helped fund the reopening.
The grand celebration featured a presentation and posting of colors by local Girl Scout Troops 33195 and 30905, Boy Scout Troop 484 and the Firefighters of Contra Costa Honor Guard. There were remarks by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Mitchoff, CCCFPD Chief Jeff Carmen, International Association of Firefighters 1230 President Vince Wells, as well as by Mayor David Shuey and Clayton City Councilman Jim Diaz, who both helped lead the efforts to reopen the station.
The afternoon also featured a safety fair with CPR training, child fingerprinting, bicycle safety presentations, an open house, and a ladder art display put together by students in Mt. Diablo Elementary School teacher Alexandra Pike’s second grade class.
Fire Station 11 is staffed with three full-time firefighters — a captain, a fire engineer and a firefighter. It is a fulltime ALS (advanced life support) station with one member being a paramedic. It is also equipped with a wild land response unit for fires up on Mount Diablo.
Jennifer Jay contributed to this article