Editor:

Aren’t firefighters paid to serve and protect? I appreciate their work in keeping fires from our town.

However, I don’t appreciate what seems to be a racket, pressuring people into an ambulance ride when it isn’t called for.

A couple of months ago, I called in a carbon-monoxide leak. I took my dog outside immediately learning of the leak via my alarm. I felt fine.

They sent up five trucks, and about seven or eight firefighters. That seemed a waste of time and money. After hooking me up with several tabs to check my blood pressure and pulse, I was fine — BP slightly elevated, no doubt due to the number of men in and out of my house, hovering over me on my small porch.

They wanted to take me to the hospital. I said no and said I felt fine. I did. They pushed the idea several more times then allowed me to sign a waiver. Glad to do it. The waiver protects them from any lawsuit, so that’s not the reason they push for an ambulance ride. They do it for money. It’s disgusting.

A few days ago, I took a friend to the fire station who had fallen, and hurt her wrist and ankle. She felt little to no pain. The swelling was not serious. I knew nothing was broken. So did they after checking her and discovering she felt no pain when she moved her joints freely.

They used scare tactics to get her to agree to an ambulance ride. I told one of them it would undoubtedly be more swollen and certainly painful to move if either were broken. He had a pat response and told me I was mistaken. It was clear he was full of crap and knew exactly what he was promoting and why. She took the ambulance ride to the emergency room. Nothing was broken.

I’ve heard countless stories like these. Who is responsible for this fire department? This racket has got to stop.

Pushing for an ambulance ride when it isn’t necessary, for financial gain, isn’t ethical. This needs to be investigated further. I think heads should roll. This is greedy, abhorrent behavior by a service we desperately need to trust and have faith in.

It’s my hope that some investigative journalism would have an impact. I also understand this isn’t the first time the department has been in question.

Susan Reasner

Idyllwild

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