My neighbor in Pine Cove is battling a terminal illness. [Idyllwild Interim Fire Chief] Sherman’s statements to terminate the ambulance service contract with the people of Pine Cove only add to her uncertainty and suffering.

A safe community on the Hill is a united community. Together in awareness, together in networking, together in action.

For decades Pine Cove and Idyllwild worked very hard to accomplish this close contact, close communication and close cooperation.

Former [Idyllwild Fire] Chief Norm Walker thought it was a necessity. Chief Sherman saying, “You up there in Pine Cove are not my constituents” is divisive to public safety on the Hill.

As J.P.’s article[in the March 29 issue of the Town Crier] said, terminating the contract with Pine Cove makes no sense. IFPD is cash starved and revenue starved.

Pine Cove is a good customer [whom] you refuse to negotiate with. Chief Sherman said in the paper that the people of Pine Cove were critical of him, so he terminated them. The Town Crier, for months, has been critical of what the IFPD Commission has been doing. Should they be deprived of ambulance service?

Pine Cove safety officials have worked hard, year after year, with the Idyllwild Fire Department to create a safe environment on the Hill. Their only criticism was, why?

Why, Chief Sherman, are you refusing to negotiate? Why are you being evasive? Why are you shutting us out of all talk? They thought they were dealing with a concerned safety professional not a newcomer that wanted to make statements.

Let’s get serious, Pine Cove is an isolated community, and you’re playing with our safety.

A short while back a neighbor in Pine Cove passed away in her home. The ambulance arrived with the men from Idyllwild.

I can’t tell you the dignity and respect every crewman showed the family and the curious onlookers. All the people of Pine Cove are deeply indebted and thankful to you, Idyllwild Fire Department, for years of careful sacrifice and action.

Now please listen.

The ones most affected by this are also the weakest. The child that has the accident, the young mother than needs to be rushed to the hospital, the heart-attack victim.

Idyllwild has the manpower and equipment to help, but starting in June, they will not be allowed. Thanks, Chief Sherman. And this makes no sense.

Norm Cassen
Pine Cove


  1. If you right about the hard work Pine Cove has put in support the Idyllwild Fire Department maybe it time to tell your CSA to just become a part of the Idyllwild Fire Department. Then you would not have to worry about the service you get. Idyllwild Fire Department can do both fire and ambulance service for less then the Country Fire Dept in your area. If AMR take over the area it will be up to 40 mins before you see an ambulance.