Board President's Message


photo of President Rickards


 The San Miguel Fire District has endured many years of extreme fiscal challenges. Since the start of the housing market crash and the recession in 2008, declining tax revenues were not able to keep up with ongoing operating expenses. Ninety-seven percent of the District’s funding comes from property tax.  This made it extremely difficult to continue to provide you with the high level of service you expect from your Fire District. Each year we streamlined expenditures to balance our budgets. Other agencies across California (including San Miguel) were forced to alter service delivery. In other words, we had to “change the way we do business.” In 2012, the San Miguel Fire District entered into a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE to provide fire protection services to the Fire District.

As a result of the cooperative relationship with CAL FIRE, the San Miguel Fire District has benefitted in its ability to fiscally recover. The annual savings to the taxpayers by this cooperative agreement have been in the millions of dollars. With the under-budget savings, the Fire District has been able to restore its contingency funds, stay within our budgetary means, purchase two new fire engines, make capital improvements to fire stations, as well as numerous other benefits. We are also actively engaged in annexing County Service Area 115 (Pepper Drive corridor between SR 67 to the west and Lakeside to the east). Property tax revenues from this area will fund the replacement of the outdated and aging Fire Station 19. Future plans include opening a regional firefighting training facility that will ensure we maintain our high levels of emergency service preparedness.

All of this has been accomplished without any reduction in service levels or response times.

When San Miguel Fire District contracted with CAL FIRE, many fiscal liabilities were relieved by the contract creating additional savings to the taxpayers. Savings such as dispatching services, personnel hiring, leave benefits, training academies, and information technology support just to name a few. More importantly, it shifts escalating pension and workers compensation liabilities.

As Board President, it is my duty to assure the tax payers of the San Miguel Fire District are well represented and their hard earned dollars are spent wisely. The cooperative fire service agreement with CAL FIRE does just that. 

David Rickards

Board President




fire chief chaney

 As your new Fire Chief of the San Miguel Fire Protection District, I am very excited to continue the positive legacy and rich traditions of the Department. We will strive to remember the past while looking forward and planning for the future of fire protection and emergency services.  In 2012 the San Miguel Fire Protection District sought and entered into a Cooperative Fire Services Agreement with CAL FIRE. This new relationship has proven to be both operationally and economically beneficial in providing a Regional and Cooperative Fire Protection approach to the District and its taxpayers we serve and protect.  This new business model  provides for a safe,  efficient and effective  Fire Department to meet your emergency needs today and well into the future.  

One of our many responsibilities includes assisting you with your emergency planning needs.  On our website, you will find a great deal of information and links to various agencies that can assist, and ensure that you are prepared for a disaster or emergency.  As your Fire Chief, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we all work as a team. The better prepared you are, the greater the chance of a positive outcome should you ever need to call 911.  

Customer service is a passion of our employees.  Our personnel have the amazing fortune of being a member of one of the greatest public service organizations in the world called “The Fire Service.” We take this honor with humility and a sense of service to you, our customer. 

The San Miguel Fire Protection District mission has remained unchanged – to Serve, Educate and Respond to our citizen and community needs in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible. The men and women that work either directly for the District or through our cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE, are dedicated to the communities we serve and are here for you anytime you should need our services.


Ray Chaney

Fire Chief

San Miguel Fire Protection District