Four times in July 2014 I desperately needed to use the EMT services of IFPD due to anaphylactic shock. If IFDP did not exist, I would not exist.

I have read over the years the Town Crier’s incessant negative news reporting of the alleged mismanagement, misconduct, abusive behavior by IFPD management. We do have a judicial system in our country where supposedly all persons are presumed innocent before being found guilty.

We, as citizens of a democracy, need to be cognizant of that presumption and not convict other citizens in the newspapers before the accused has had an opportunity to go through due process — to answer to the charges made against them. The Town Crier’s coverage of IFPD has already convicted Chief Reitz and Capt. LaMont before they have had an opportunity to defend themselves. This is unbiased news reporting in the USA? Come on.

Unfortunately, too much coverage by the TC has been on all the alleged negative issues that may or may not be true regarding IFPD management; and virtually nothing but a dribble of words of the positive, lifesaving, medical services IFPD performs every single day/night, 24/7. IFPD members risk their lives so this community of Idyllwild can be protected and safe. That is their job. They do it superbly well.

I attended the Fire Commission meeting on Aug. 12, 2014, to attest to what IFPD had done for me. Another gentleman in attendance at the meeting with his wife choked up emotionally when he thanked IFPD for saving the life of his beloved wife this summer. Why not at least mention this positive outcome in your paper — at least two lives saved.

The TC gave one-half of a sentence (exactly 12 words) in stating, “Unlike local residents who praised the medical service they received this summer …” Yet, the paper devoted parts of four pages to “Conflicts abound within IFPD and “Concerns expressed about IFPD management,” as well as a vicious “Out loud” editor’s opinion. And, this is unbiased newspaper reporting? Please. Stop the public crucifixion/character assassinations of Chief Reitz/Capt. LaMont.

You have the bully pulpit with the newspaper. Please give unbiased reporting by giving both sides of the issues.

I do believe the TC’s coverage of IFPD, particularly of Chief Reitz/Capt. LaMont, has been unconscionable. Why would anyone subject themselves to this treatment to be a public servant to serve?

Merci beaucoup. Adios.

 Nancyjo Albe’rs

Editor’s note: Innocent until proven guilty refers to criminal trials. No one at the TC has suggested a crime has taken place. 

In a Town Crier editorial of July 24, 2014, we stated: “Firefighters and EMTs are our heroes, not just for what they’ve done, but for what they stand ready to do, even to the point of risking their lives to save second homes of people they don’t know. They deserve the best we can afford to give them: the best salaries, the best benefits and the best equipment and facilities we can afford. They deserve the best administration we can give them, too.”