Everyone loves Grandma’s chicken soup; however, it’s no cure for cancer. Just as IFPD uses substandard paramedics, anyone will tell you everyone loves the guys. And, oh yes, they give it a darn good effort and proud of it just like you would expect from your grandson.

It doesn’t mitigate the fact their professional qualifications and service are questionable. I quote the Riverside County grand jury, “The grand jury learned, from testimony given by several expert witnesses, that due to the size of the department and the low volume of medical calls, it is difficult for the paramedics at the Idyllwild Fire Department to maintain their clinical assessment skills.” [June 2008]

Department staff have repeatedly engaged in documented unprofessional conduct. An example which especially concerns me involves the 2010 suspension of the district’s EMS director by the County, with the district and county hiding behind confidentiality agreements.

Did this suspension involve moral and or trust failures with their patients care? If so, why are they still employed? District personnel have a history of falsified records. Sadly they weren’t the latest form of unprofessional conduct.

Without access to a large rotated staffing pool, objectivity and professional conduct have eroded, making reference to the unusually high turnover rate of chiefs within the district resulting from questionable and contentious election cycles, failed budgets, and entrenched staffing problems where ambulance service becomes the pawn.

Every person on this mountain or more specifically within Riverside County has a right to the same high quality ambulance service as found in the desert, Moreno Valley, Murrieta or Temecula.

Riverside County Fire Deparment/CAL FIRE or AMR paramedics will exceed our expectations. IFPD agrees that the professional qualifications and training of RCFD and AMR paramedics exceeds their’s as evidenced by the necessity to seek training from AMR paramedics.

RCFD and AMR paramedics should provide comprehensive, mountain-wide ambulance service including Idyllwild.

Embrace this change. It will improve our lives.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove


  1. IFPD ambulance was on the scene in less than 3 minutes. What a professional group! They were quick to understand what had occurred and recommended that i be transported to Eisenhower hospital in Rancho Mirage( known for their expertise in heart and stroke care!). A BIG thank you to our firemen and paramedics.