Following a March 20 letter telling Riverside County that it wanted to terminate its contract to provide ambulance service to Zones 2 (Pine Cove) and 3 (areas north of Pine Cove and south of Idyllwild), areas outside of the IFPD district, Idyllwild Fire officials met with representatives of the county’s Emergency Medical Services Agency last week.
Another meeting will take place this week, according to Brian MacGavin, assistant director for Riverside County’s EMS.
There will be further discussion concerning Idyllwild’s finances. Although Idyllwild has raised its transportation and medical service costs in each of the past two years, MacGavin thought that Idyllwild still might be lower than some comparable departments.
Idyllwild Fire officials responded with the following statement from Interim Fire Chief Mike Sherman, “On April 18, 2012 REMSA and a County Counsel representative met with the IFPD Interim Fire Chief, the IFPD Board’s Ad Hoc committee members [President Jeannine Charles-Stigall and vice president Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly], and the IFPD legal counsel over the Zone II and III contract extension amendment as presented to IFPD by REMSA. The meeting was very positive and IFPD and REMSA agreed to continue to meet and negotiate a mutually agreeable amendment to extend the Zone II and III contract for ambulance transport services.”
According to County Service Area 38 Advisory Chair Jerry Holldber, no one from its negotiating subcommittee was invited, although CSA 38 pays nearly $95,000 for Idyllwild’s service.
“It is time for other mountain communities, not just Pine Cove, to move on and research and study the available options,” Holldber said when asked about the meeting. He reaffirmed the committee’s letter to the Board of Supervisor here.