Readers Write: Idyllwild Fire tax hike

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Editor:

Idyllwild, will tax increases fix IFPD problems? Is there poor management? Are paramedics properly trained? Are firefighters competent and trustworthy? IFPD says personnel are up to the job. Independent grand jury investigations raise substantial fiscal questions, and misconduct allegations.

Here are the grand jury reports.

www.countyofriverside.us/Portals/0/GrandJury/GrandJury2013-2014/2013-2014%20Grand%20Jury%20Report%20IFPD%20Board%20of%20Commissiioners%20and%20Finance%20Committee.pdf (2013/14 IFPD Finance Committee misconduct, training certification irregularities, employee conduct)

www.countyofriverside.us/Portals/0/GrandJury/GrandJury2013-2014/2013-2014%20Grand%20Jury%20Report%20Idyllwild%20Fire%20Protection%20District.pdf (2013/14 IFPD employee misaligned duties)

www.countyofriverside.us/Portals/0/GrandJury/12auditorcontroller_internalaudit.pdf (2011/2012 IFPD habitually delinquent audits/material irregularities)

www.countyofriverside.us/Portals/0/GrandJury/11idyllwildfireprotection.pdf (2010/11 IFPD audit problems, employees attending political meetings while on duty)

www.countyofriverside.us/Portals/0/GrandJury/08idyllwildfireprotectiondistrict.pdf (community intimidation, patient care, training certification irregularities)

www.countyofriverside.us/Portals/0/GrandJury/08pinecovefireincident.pdf (2007/08 employee and responding agency professional competence, unprofessional conduct while responding to an emergency)

IFPD refuses to embrace these reports. It blames these investigations on disgruntled former employees and non-residents providing biased testimony, never mind that many grand juries over many years have weighed in on these matters.

Loss of the county contract to AMR is irreversible and damaging to the future of IFPD if the status quo is maintained just with higher taxes.

As a Pine Cove resident, I and all CSA 38 residents benefit from a rural health program whereby highly qualified AMR paramedics routinely check on individual welfare, regularly monitor vital signs, review medications prescribed, inspect your home and, yes, make regular reports to a primary care physician at no cost (951-765-3918), the type of service I want for an at-risk family member in a rural community.

This type of care is difficult. That’s why CSA 38 and the county contracted with AMR, proven experts in rural health. Having experienced less with IFPD, why on earth would I, or for that matter anyone, want to turn the clock back to something less for our families?

It’s not about gimmicks such as free donated fire alarms, Santa on the fire truck, hot dog weenie roasts or wanting to be part of some Idyllwild club.

Send IFPD a message. Asking for more tax dollars isn’t the answer with so many concerns. Don’t feed this monster. IFPD can be replaced with Cal Fire and AMR tomorrow at no additional cost. Do what’s right for your family.

Jeff Smith

Pine Cove

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