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Public Records

Requesting Public Records

The San José Fire Department is committed to providing members of the public their full right of access to department public records under the California Public Records Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Our goal is to ensure that members of the public receive prompt, accurate and thorough responses to their requests for public records maintained by the department. Read the City’s Public Records Policy and Protocol.

The following records are available by request through the SJFD and its bureaus:

Fees for Public Records

The City will not charge for access to data that is readily accessible without significant cost.

The City, however, may charge for the actual costs of duplicating paper copies of records and postage, consistent with the amounts set forth in City’s Schedule of Fees and Charges. The City may also charge for duplication costs in another medium in accordance with the amounts set forth in the Schedule of Fees and Charges (e.g., copying video or cassette tapes).

The actual hourly cost incurred by City staff will be charged for responding to any request for public information that either:

  1. Is produced only at otherwise regularly scheduled intervals, if the interim production of the report cannot be achieved without a substantial burden on City staff; or
  2. Requires the City to write programming language or extract data that would not otherwise be extracted.

Note: Before any fees are incurred, the City employee responsible for responding to the request must notify the requester of the estimated cost to respond, including a breakdown showing how those costs were determined and the requester must agree to pay the estimated cost.

Obtaining Records by Subpoena

Attorneys, government agencies, or other individuals who wish to obtain SJFD records via subpoena or to subpoena SJFD personnel for a court appearance should mail their request to:

Bureau of Administrative Services
San José Fire Department
Custodian of Records
1661 Senter Rd., Third Floor
San José, CA 95112

Department Request Response Time

The San José Fire Department responds to all requests for public records as promptly as is reasonably possible, and provides responsive records, if any, as soon as possible after they are available.

Generally, the Department has 10 calendar days to respond to a request to inspect or receive copies of records. In certain circumstances, the Department may extend its time to respond by an additional 14 calendar days.

Those circumstances include where the Department must do one or more of the following:

  • Search for, collect and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records included in a single request
  • Search for and collect the requested records from a remote storage facility or location separate from department headquarters
  • Consult with another agency or City department that has a substantial interest in the response to the request or the need to compile data or to construct a computer report to extract data.

If the department extends the time to respond, the department will notify the requesting party in writing of the reasons for the extension and the estimated date for the response within the initial 10-day response period.