In response to a public question about the status of Idyllwild Fire Protection District’s response to the September letter from the Riverside County grand jury that rejected the original response, Commission President Jerry Buchanan said last week in IFPD’s board meeting he has had no further communication with the grand jury about this issue. Consequently, the original response will stand unless the commission learns more about the grand jury’s objection.
However, he did state that each commissioner and member of the Finance Committee has received a subpoena from the current grand jury. Buchanan did not state the details or subject of this inquiry, or whether it was new or a continuation of last year’s investigation.
“I have no idea what this issue is they’re looking at, but we intend to comply,” he said.
He also announced the resignation of Chris Davis, a citizen member of the Finance Committee. No plans for replacing him were announced but Calvin Gogerty is the current alternate for Davis. Susan Weisbart is the other citizen committee member.
Another civilian also had to relinquish their IFPD role. Paul Riggi, vice president of Volunteer Company 621, announced that Ruth Wick had to resign as president of the company and he would assume the role until the annual June election.
But Fire Chief Patrick Reitz did announce the promotion of three reserves — Eddie Apodaca, Robert Clark and James LaMont — to firefighters and paramedics.
Also during the meeting, the IFPD commission approved a patient outcome form that has been on its agenda for several years. In the future, this customer comment form will be mailed to recipients of IFPD’s emergency medical service.
The idea has been percolating with the board ever since former Commissioner Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly suggested one in June 2012. After he left the commission, a committee composed of commissioners Jeannine Charles-Stigall and Nancy Layton was formed to bring a final proposal forward, which happened last week.
The one-page questionnaire will be mailed to patients, with a self-addressed, stamped reply envelope. The draft asked five questions about the quality of emergency medical service they received. For example, “Were our personnel polite and courteous?“ and “Did we answer all of your questions so you understood your options?”
However, Commissioner Rhonda Andrewson objected to all the questions except the general comment, “Were you satisfied overall with the service you received from IFPD?” She felt the others encouraged negative assessments, especially since a medical emergency is a stressful situation in which memories are notoriously poor during these events.
“If they have no medical or EMT training, what does the public know except [the IFPD crew] expeditiously took care of the family member?” she asked about the other questions.
After discussion, the commission approved the assessment 3-1, with Andrewson opposed and Layton absent. The major change was to move the general question, which was last to first.
After the vote, Buchanan said, “We’ll test this and see how it goes.”