Don’t turn our fire department into ‘average’
I’m going to need some clarification on the Petersens plans to bring “smaller, more agile, ‘ambulance-like vehicles’” to El Dorado Hills. If their plan is to augment our current firefighter-paramedics responding to emergencies in fire engines, then I’m all for it. However, seeing as they plan on reducing our fire department budget, I don’t see how this is possible. It seems that their likely approach is to replace fire engines, already staffed with firefighter-paramedics, with a so-called “quick response” vehicle, coupled with “average” paramedics. If this is the plan, then I have one question for them: Are you nuts?!
If we learned anything from the June disaster drill in the Lakehills area of El Dorado Hills, it’s that fires are a real and substantial threat to our lives and property. Yes, there are more frequent calls for medical assistance than calls for fires, but that does not mean that you reduce the level of protection that you already have! You make sure that what you do have is able to handle all threats. In my experiences with the El Dorado Hills Fire Department, they respond rapidly and with the ability to handle every emergency — fires, medical aids, vehicle accidents, etc.
I’ve had the pleasure to live in a couple of the communities that you cite as “comparator” departments — namely Poway and Granite Bay. I could care less about ISO, number of calls, etc. I’m sure that the men and women in those departments are dedicated professionals, but frankly, they don’t hold a candle to our firefighters. What I know is that I have never experienced a department so positively imbedded in the community in which they serve as the El Dorado Hills Fire Department. Not only are they experts in emergency medicine and fire suppression, but they are consummate professionals and good neighbors.
I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who wants to take our outstanding public safety services and make them “average.” I’ll instead be voting for those that helped make this department what it is today: Jim Hartley and John Hidahl.
El Dorado Hills