LA HABRA HEIGHTS – The city and Los Angeles County have reached a conceptual agreement that could provide quicker Fire Department response to the east and west ends of the city, to some unincorporated areas, and to parts of La Habra. An actual memorandum of understanding still must be reached by city and county fire chiefs, and the conceptual agreement must be approved by the county Board of Supervisors. However, the agreement calls for county fire engines to respond to those areas nearest their stations, fire officials said. While the City Council approved the agreement for exchange of fire protection and rescue services automatic aid/initial action last week, the county Board of Supervisors still must act. “It’s a real win-win situation,” Mayor Brian Bergman said. “You need to share resources.” With the lone La Habra Heights fire station on Hacienda Road, city officials said county fire stations are nearer to the east and west ends of the city. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman said the La Habra Heights station on Hacienda Road is closer to an unincorporated island just south of La Habra Heights. It’s also possible that La Habra Heights station might be nearer to Whittier Boulevard, Freeman said. “We have to look to see what areas in our jurisdiction might be closer to La Habra Heights,” Freeman said. The county has nearly 30 agreements like these with other cities. One is Santa Fe Springs. “It’s a very good thing,” said Alex Rodriguez, Santa Fe Springs fire chief. “Before we had these, if a fire station across from your street wasn’t \ your city, it didn’t respond. With automatic aid, it should be the closest unit that goes.” The La Habra Heights agreement has come under some criticism from some residents. George Edwardz, a critic of the city, called the agreement a “Band-Aid” that would hurt Los Angeles County. “So who are the losers?” Edwardz asked on his Web site. “Fire services for the area surrounding La Habra Heights, since the plan calls for stretching already thin fire and rescue services from Los Angeles County Fire Department to cover the city of La Habra Heights at no additional cost to their residents,” Edwardz said. But Freeman said there is no additional cost. “It’s better service for the citizens,” Freeman said. “As fire chiefs, we look to see between the two cities of La Habra Heights and La Habra and parts of Whittier, who’s closer.” [email protected] (562)698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!