"If they're gone, we will regret it, I promise you," said community member Frank Gormlie, urging the Ocean Beach Town Council to fight for the 185 public fire pits across San Diego, including eight in Ocean Beach.

Gormlie told the council -- in session on April 28 at the OB Masonic Center -- that he met recently with city councilman Kevin Faulconer, who wants to keep the pits. "The mayor is the one to convince," Gormlie said.

Council members said they expected to discuss the matter and, at their next meeting, reiterate their support of the pits.

Earlier in the meeting, a member of the audience asked about "urban campers" in Ocean Beach, particularly near the foot of Newport Avenue.

"Looks like we have a new group in," said Officer David Surwilo of the San Diego Police Department. Surwilo said some group members seemed "more aggressive" and that police and lifeguards have issued citations when appropriate.

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Comments

Shane_Finneran April 29, 2010 @ 4:28 p.m.

Joe Diko of the San Diego Fire Department also gave a monthly report. He seemed concerned about the impact of fire station closures on San Diego's emergency preparedness.

"It's going to be challenging this summer with the station closures," said Diko. He explained that his fire station was responding to nearly twice as many calls since it began covering for recent cutbacks at a nearby station.

Diko also said the Easter Sunday earthquake suggested the city is not ready to respond to a large-scale disaster. "This city was tapped," he said.

According to Diko, emergency crews were stretched to their limits just responding to calls from panicked San Diegans. "It was really quite a mess. We were all saying, if we really do get the big one, it's going to be something."

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SurfPuppy619 April 29, 2010 @ 6:39 p.m.

"It's going to be challenging this summer with the station closures," said Diko. He explained that his fire station was responding to nearly twice as many calls since it began covering for recent cutbacks at a nearby station.

Yeah, when you comp GED firewhiners at $200K per year it tends to make the FD short on staff.

You want to have a fully staffed FD- cut the comp by 50% and double the work force.

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