Bruce Barton, director of the Riverside County Emergency Management Department, discusses the “closest unit” policy during the public meeting in Mountain Center Monday evening. At the table is Riverside County Fire Chief Daniel Talbot.
Photo by JP Crumrine

Editor’s note: The meeting in Mountain Center regarding ambulance response time was Monday evening, June 25. Below is brief report on the results. The July 5 edition of the Town Crier will include a fuller story of the discussion and issues.

Martha Pearson organized a meeting to discuss ambulance response time in the Mountain Center area, and she got a good response.

About a dozen residents came out, but Riverside County officials from the Emergency Medical Department and Cal Fire, and Idyllwild Fire Department staff as well as some Idyllwild Fire commissioners attended and exchanged views and comments about resolving the residents’ concerns.

Bruce Barton, EMD director, said he could eliminate the qualification in current “Closest [Advanced Life Support] Ambulance — Mountain Plateau” policy that says, “for purposes of closest ambulance, the AMR Pine Cove Unit and IFPD ambulances are considered equal distance.”

This pleased most at the meeting.

Barton did emphasize that he wants and needs Idyllwild Fire Protection District to sign the ALS contract, which all other ambulance providers in the county have signed. The contract specifies clinical, data collection, staffing and training standards that all providers agree to meet.