Home » Fire Chief Says “All Communities” Should Adopt Sideshow Enforcement Ordinances

Fire Chief Says “All Communities” Should Adopt Sideshow Enforcement Ordinances

by CC News

With a sideshow in Antioch delaying Contra Costa County Fire response to a call, Fire Chief Lewis Broschard says all cities should adopt maximum enforcement ordinances.

“We would encourage communities to adopt maximum enforcement ordinances in regards to sideshows that reduce their occurrence and impact on emergency responders and the public,” said Broschard who says ad-hoc or unannounced closures of roads impact their ability to respond to emergencies in a timely manner.  “In the case of medical emergencies and fires, time matters if we are to arrive and administer advanced life support to make a positive outcome in the case of a life threatening medical emergency or to limit fire spread in the case of a structure or vegetation fire.”

On January 6, multiple sideshows occurred within the City of Antioch beginning at 3:00 pm and going on into the evening hoping from location to location—and at one point, prevented Contra Costa County Fire from access to a call.

CONFIRE reported the sideshow activity blocked them from responding at Laurel and Canada Valley and were forced to take a longer route to the call.

According to Broschard, that specific all had Engine 88 going to a fire alarm call but while responding was notified of a column of smoke (possibly a car fire unrelated to the fire alarm).  The engine company diverted from the fire alarm call to investigate the column of smoke, which would’ve been a higher priority incident.  As Engine 88 arrived at the area of the smoke, it turns out the smoke was produced by the sideshow and upon their arrival.

“They subsequently continued their response to the fire alarm call,” stated Broschard. “At a later time, a vehicle fire was reported in the area of the sideshow.  The engine company that responded to the fire was requested to stage down the street by Antioch Police until the crowd could disperse.  The engine company eventually responded into the scene, but found no signs of a vehicle fire upon their arrival.”

According to CONFIRE, in terms of how they deal with sideshow or blocked intersections, they will simply notify dispatch and continue their response using an alternative route or request additional resources in their place if they cannot make it through the area.

“Sideshows are a law enforcement matter,” stated Broschard. “Scenes involving sideshows are generally considered unsafe as they involve large crowds that can be unpredictable.  The nature of the vehicles involved in the sideshow moving in an unsafe manner presents concerns for the safety of our personnel.”

Back on Dec 31, a vehicle believed to be participating in a sideshow led CHP on a pursuit from the Antioch/Pittsburg area to Bay Point where it crashed resulting in 5 people injured.  Another sideshow in October resulted in vehicle crashes and a large fire on Deer Valley Road at Lone Tree Way.


Sideshow in the City of Antioch

Although Antioch has failed to adopt any sideshow ordinances, even though they have discussed it for two-years, on Tuesday, Councilmembers Mike Barbanica and Monica Wilson requested a sideshow ordinance come back before the council.

Wilson said she spoke with the police chief on sideshows after a sideshow at Lone Tree and Blue Rock.

“Everybody in that community was upset about it and a lot of cars hide out in our community to hide when police come. A lot of us tried to call that in. I am just as frustrated as everybody else about the sideshows, the one offs, the people doing donuts, this is something we are definitely going to address this year,” stated Wilson.

Barbanica formally requested (again) for an ordinance to cite sideshow spectators come back before the city council.

“This weekend, I sat and watched as 25-30 cars pulled up, everybody got out, formed around an intersection and stopped traffic. At another place, CONFIRE couldn’t get through because of the spectators and the sideshow. CONFIRE was trying to get somewhere to help someone and they couldn’t get through because we had sideshows going on. So, I am calling for that to come back again.”

It is unclear when the City of Antioch will take up a sideshow ordinance again after its delayed supporting multiple versions of its proposed sideshow ordinances.

Sideshow Ordinances

Previous Stories on Sideshow Ordinances:

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MODERATE January 11, 2024 - 8:54 am

While I understand the fire chief’s concern, I’d still argue that more ordinances will not be the cure. More police RESOURCES are needed. Its no coincidence that Antioch is ground zero for this activity.

D4 Resident January 11, 2024 - 9:10 am

The irony of Barbanica calling for an ordinance on spectators to be fined and then admitting to being a spectator this weekend. Let him get the first fine.

CC News January 11, 2024 - 11:45 am

What are you talking about? How did you figure that one? He clarified he was watching it from his home.

d January 11, 2024 - 2:12 pm

Fire hose them!
Stop f&@!ing around.

FOOS January 12, 2024 - 10:59 am

And there you go. Same comment I made regarding being proactive. Two years talking about the issue and still nothing to show for it. These are orchestrated events. Any monitoring of social media? And when they occur there aren’t enough police officers to respond to them. What officer would want to respond to these by themselves? Without a doubt that cop would be surround by the mob that would jeopardizing his or her safety. How many of us have seen single vehicles day or night take over an intersection and block traffic while the JERK does several donuts then casually drive away? I reported a distinctive vehicle, black, small car with loud exhaust, spoiler and numbers on the doors. Any action? No, ” we have to see it.” That is understandable but without police on our streets Antioch will never put an end to street racing, donuts or outright dangerous driving habits. We need cops, not just ordinances.

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