[Sacramento County] CSD officials respond to grand jury report

Fire dept. scrutinized for school inspections

The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) board on Sept. 19 responded to a Sacramento Grand Jury report that scrutinized the CSD fire staff’s practices.

Last year, it was revealed that the fire marshal’s staff did not inspect schools in Elk Grove and Galt for three years.

“This is a very high concern,” the grand jury’s report stated this June. “Schoolchildren are at risk because of the lack of inspections and placed at further risk if the safety violations are not corrected.”

Cosumnes Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin told the Citizen after the report’s June publication that inspections have been completed at every school in the Elk Grove and Galt school districts.

He noted that the grand jury’s report is outdated since the grand jury finished their investigation in January.  

As requested by the grand jury, the CSD board had to respond to them by late September.  

They approved the fire administration’s responses to the grand jury’s recommendations to improve their inspection practices and record-keeping.

“We addressed the problem and now we’re current on all inspections at the schools?” CSD Director Gil Albiani asked McLaughlin who then told him that was correct.

McLaughlin told them that his staff adopted a new software program this July that helps them keep track of fire inspections.

“When the time comes to do inspections, the system will tell us where our priorities are, instead of having to do guesswork,” CSD Director Rod Brewer said.

McLaughlin said that schools have been responsive in correcting their fire code violations.

The fire chief noted that his staff has the challenge of enforcing the fire codes of the cities of Elk Grove and Galt as well as Sacramento County in their large district. He mentioned there is an idea that the CSD could enforce a new fire code that covers their entire district.

“It’s a no-brainer to do that,” Brewer replied. “Many new businesses are not aware of the changes in the fire code or what is the main code.”

September 28, 2018

Elk Grove Citizen

By Cameron Macdonald