How have we gotten to this point? The county grand jury has issued disastrous findings regarding the Idyllwild Fire Protection District.
Community members, firefighters and commissioners have been called to give sworn testimony that resulted in this scathing report. We all want a healthy fire department and a strong, efficient ambulance service. What we have is just the opposite: unqualified supervisors, undertrained EMTs and administrators who will do anything to hide mistakes.
The EMT/firefighters that exposed the errors to the administration, the commissioners and finally the grand jury wanted the community to be protected and safe. The EMT/firefighters should come out in public with their charges. They had the courage to try to help IFPD become a better organization and they put their jobs and careers on the line. What have they got to lose?
The commissioners are probably going to try to fire them anyway. This, of course, would be disgraceful and illegal. We have seen how they treat people who try to keep the public informed.
Look what they did to Commissioner Chip Schelly. They rounded up a lynch mob to vilify him. They backed down when too many folk showed up and supported Mr. Schelly. We need the chance to support the EMT/firefighters, too.
Another thing I don’t understand is why the residents of Idyllwild don’t seem to care. The majority of those attending IFPD meetings are from Pine Cove and all we care about is the ambulance service. Idyllwild residents have to worry about their firefighting abilities, too.
Pine Cove tried to improve things by taxing ourselves to support IFPD and Idyllwild turned down their attempted tax increase.
Maybe Idyllwilders know something that eluded the Pine Covians: IFPD is hopeless. You can’t help them with money. And they won’t let you help them with constructive criticism.
If they try to punish the whistle-blowing EMT/firefighters it will be clear to all that the commissioners and administration of IFPD cannot be trusted to protect and serve the public of this community.