The city of Costa Mesa did receive a proposal such as Wu describes from the OCFA, but there was no apples-to-apples cost comparison. The savings offered by contracting out were illusory because they were based on closing two fire stations. It turns out to be cheaper for Costa Mesa to keep its Fire Department and close the two fire stations than to accept OCFA's proposal.
Bottom line: One size does not fit all. What is good for Santa Ana is not necessarily good for a different city.
Marathon's aftermath not so pretty
Living on Balboa Island, I am never happy to see the OC Marathon come to town and close the bridge and Bayside Drive. I always walk Sunday mornings, using the bridge and Bayside as my beginning point. I honestly do not like that I have to change my workout to accommodate this event. The ferry does fortunately provide an alternative, even though there is a minor cost involved.