In the Oct. 22 edition of the Town Crier, there was a letter to the editor about the Idyllwild Fire Protection District which ended in the statement, “You get what you pay for.”
Well, when it comes to IFPD, you don’t.
Pine Cove was finally able to get out from under a contract with IFPD for ambulance service. The people of Pine Cove taxed themselves to pay IFPD for enhanced ambulance service.
IFPD said it had two or three vehicles to service this enhancement but it did not staff more than one. An ambulance was supposed to arrive within 13 minutes of receiving a call but sometmes took longer, showed up with only the driver, and relied heavily on the paramedics at Cal Fire Station 23.
Then, to add insult to injury, by the time the fee from Pine Cove was up to $128,000, IFPD voted to charge Pine Cove residents an extra $300 for each call. Thanks to board member Pete Capparelli who listened to the outrage of Pine Cove residents, the $300 was rescinded, but by then the damage was done.
Cal Fire has done a wonderful job in Pine Cove. Their well-trained paramedics are always on duty.
American Medical Response took over the ambulance responsibilities earlier this year and charges Pine Cove the same it charges patients in all the other areas of Riverside County without gouging the residents for being “out of area.”
The Oct. 29 issue of the Town Crier had an article stating that IFPD is asking Idyllwild residents to tax themselves to keep IFPD afloat in a morass of accounting problems even the commissioners can’t explain.
Don’t do it. Learn from what they did to your neighbors in Pine Cove. We paid them more: they gave us less, and then added a surcharge.
Idyllwild, too, can have Cal Fire and AMR. County Fire Chief Hawkins said he could have Idyllwild covered within an hour of Idyllwild residents demanding the better service provided by Cal Fire and AMR for the cost of your current county taxes. Even the IFPD unit fee of $65 to $265 on your property tax bill would go away.