The public shouldn’t ignore our fire department’s activities


The El Dorado Hills Fire Board’s 689th meeting occurred Dec. 6. The board, fire employees, potential contractors, a Latrobe Fire representative and me were in attendance. The public is not very interested. It should be.

The board will soon approve $1,000,000 for a new aerial ladder fire truck. Only one vendor qualified. Bids were restricted due to proposal specifications. That may be why staff wanted immediate approval. The offered vehicle is ‘in stock,’ a demo from what I gathered. We don’t know how many miles it has on it. El Dorado Hills Fire hasn’t contacted any-other department about this truck model, relying on the manufacturers general reputation. But there was really only one qualifying bid. Does make you wonder? Did you know our current truck hasn’t work reliably for quite a while? Didn’t hear about that until it was time to justify a new purchase. Critical news is slow to come out of the department.

El Dorado Hills Fire will soon annex the fire responsibility in the under-financed/taxed and mostly rural Latrobe Fire District. LAFCO must act simultaneously on both Latrobe’s and El Dorado Hills’ requests for annexation. Presently Latrobe pays El Dorado Hills Fire $25,000 for fire service support. Taxing impact is unknown now. No discussion has penciled out the cost, impact on El Dorado Hills services or value to El Dorado Hills taxpayers. Is the huge land area needed to justify the current El Dorado Hills Fire budget?

Last month, El Dorado Hills Fire sold Latrobe an unused reserve truck for $5,000 to upgrade their volunteers’ gear. That’s a good deed. The truck is valued from $20,000 to $60,000, depending upon whose story you hear. With annexation, El Dorado Hills should get it back.

The plans for the new Francisco station are going forward. That’s between $3 million and $4 million. Some public meetings will be held next January and February. Should be great for the image on Francisco.

Oh, by the way, stay healthy. Medical transport service for the county, impacting El Dorado Hills, was reduced by one ambulance by the county Emergency Service Authority. There is not enough county money, maybe $250,000, to support it. You do know that 90 percent of all El Dorado Hills ‘fire’ calls are really medical requests that might need medical transport. Fear not, the $1,000,000 truck will have Paramedic/EMTs on board while you wait for our only ambulance.

Do you know where you get paid every month of your life for a college degree?
Answer next month.

It seems to me … the public should be interested.

Richard Ross
El Dorado Hills

This story falls on page "5"
Posted by on Dec 13 2012.
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