The single largest expense for the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) is the salary account. These newly increased salaries are inconsistent with a declining revenue base.

Aside from dangerous and poor IFPD decision making moving the district to insolvency by February, revenue must align with expenses.

Pay and staffing ratios are frozen by union contract and an intransigent association. That leaves three options, increase transports and revenue, a grave practice raising the question of mal-practice already under way, raise property taxes without fiscal cleanup of the district, or play the doomsday card.

IFPD should initiate a request for proposals of replacement fire and ambulance services. CalFire, Hemet Fire, AMR, and a number of other agencies will submit bids. I guarantee you this nine-person association (union) will see the writing on the wall.

Many professional and financial problems exist with this district and its employees jeopardizing the health and safety of members of this community.

I believe that various career members here are unemployable elsewhere because of past and current conduct. They will see the writing on the wall and will agree to cited contract modifications. I’m just not sure it’s worth saving.

However, a 10 percent salary reduction, mandated employee contributions to retirement, a two-tier pay and retirement system — one tier for existing and one for new employees — and professional training and certifications implemented by certified training facilities would be a start.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove


  1. I worked with cal fire and amr for over 27 years. Cal Fire charge for one engine with 3 firemen is 1,500,000.00 a year which is more then the total amount IFPD uses for all it services in a year.
    AMR is going to charge 500,000.00 for one unit. It time the people of Idlyllwild understand if they change there service to another dept. the cost is going to be 2 to 3 times more then they pay now. I think it time to get behind the IFPD and help them work out a plan which will not rise the cost to a level we can not pay. Time are bad for all dept. Maybe people in Idlyllwild need to start doing some home work on the cost of a fire dept.

  2. Good post Bruce! Plus, AMR would only provide on ambulance, the next one would come from who knows where.

    IFPD can do 3 EMS calls back to back, you won't get that if Cal Fire takes over.

    The board blew it on the Measure G issue, they never got out the correct message.