Emergency Service

Ada EMS Stiffs Fire Departments

Boise and Whitney fire departments got stuck with an unexpected bill for a new fire station after the Ada County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) backed out of an agreement to share in the cost of a housing an ambulance in Southwest Boise.

In a plan to accommodate future urban sprawl, Boise built a new fire station on Hollandale St. south of Overland Road and Five Mile. It was to be jointly financed by Boise, Whitney, and Ada EMS.

Team Dave politely noted in an end of year spending proposal, “EMS has since elected to not share in the building cost”. No word if they have also “elected to not share in use of the space designed for an ambulance to serve citizens.”

As a result Boise and Whitney will each pony up $186,000 to cover the $372,000 shortfall.

An interesting side note. Boise provides fire services under a contract with the Whitney District, but Whitney actually taxes the patrons of the district MORE than they pay Boise for the services provided. Last time we checked, Whitney was taxing about $200,000 more than they paid Boise.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I’m glad the mayor was so polite! You see in boise when a politician shafts the citizens it’s very important to follow strict ” Emily Post” guidelines!

    Ada county EMS has a responsibility to every citizen in SW Boise and Whitney to pony up their share of the building costs as they originally agreed. Their administration ( and the county commishes are apparently agreeing) are telling the people of that area that in an emergency situation ” they are plum out of luck.”

    Team Dave doesn’t really care ; he’ll move around some taxpayer monies as they are so easily available to him and most other city and county politicos.This points out the major problem and solution; We shouild have emergency services Districts that combine the emergrency facilities and vehicles/equipment of their inclusive towns and cities so as to avoid expensive duplication,greed, and constant overcharging of the taxpayer for the same services!

  2. Joe, this idea of combining and sharing is brilliant – why have our well paid elected officials failed to come up with this idea? oh…is it because they can use our tax money as if it belongs to their big game of Monopoly?

  3. How many times do we have to go through this juvenile behavior from the Mayor’s office and the leadership of the EMS Department? This is quickly approaching “laughable” in it’s lack of logic.
    Just simply dissolve the ACEMS, fold it into the Fire Department, and once again, the problem goes away.

  4. BoiseCitizen
    Dec 11, 2006, 11:03 am

    You haven’t seen nothing yet. Just wait for the commissioners meeting tomorrow. There is an item on the agenda making Ada County EMS the sole dictators of emergency medical management in the county. How sad for the citizens of Ada county that protecting one’s turf is more important than actually getting along and coming up with a solution.

  5. Let me ask this question. If Ada EMS would have moved into the new fire station, would they help pay for the day to day cost. I am pretty sure that the fire departments get stuck with the utility bills, repair cost, toilet paper, carpet cleaning, etc… on the stations that ems uses now. I know they may have helped in remodel cost(remodeled for there living space), but do they help with the logistics cost of just keeping them running? I don’t know, I am asking. Will someone let me know.

    Editor note–Croaker where are you when we need you? Help the guy out.

  6. I hope my post didn’t scare everyone off. I do think it is important for everyone to know if the city is paying the county’s way. I won’t give up. I know someone knows!

  7. Boisean – Ada County EMS does not pay Boise City/Fire for use of the shared facilities. I’ve heard that some Boise firefighters have asked Ada medics to pay a daily fee to watch TV, etc.

    Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that the Boise City Council apparently voted to proceed with the plans for the new fire/EMS station with no written agreement from the County for the $372K. That still doesn’t make it right for the County to agree to the joint project and then back out, however.

    EDITOR NOTE–Interesting to know WHO at Ada County made the verbal agreement and WHY Boise proceeded with no written deal in hand.

  8. BoiseCitizen
    Dec 11, 2006, 9:55 pm

    Sharon, the reason that ACEMS members are asked to pay, is that the firefighters pay out of their own pockets for cable tv, newspapers, food condiments, coffee, etc. Ada County EMS members are asked to pay $1.00 a Day to use these kind of items. Every firefighter pays 5 to 10 bucks a month for their share. It does not seem to be unreasonable to ask that the medics chip in for what they use.

    EDITOR NOTE–And they probably do pay. The original questioner was concerned with M&O of the stations, not food and personal items. The rift is certainly not with the worker bees.

  9. OK, a couple points…

    1- This is not a new or sudden issue. I hear that we were not going to be in the station at least 5-6 months ago. One has to wonder at the timing of such an issue being brought up now, right before the ordinance hearing.

    2- The reason why we are not going in on this….as it was explained to me informally…as I recall…was that the FDs wanted over 300K just handed to them, with no input on how it was used, and more importantly….no ownership of the facility..Conceivably we could have payed the 300K and been booted out in a year..or even 10 years later if the station was sold for dollars, Ada county would not get a cent of that back.

    That may or may not have been what held up a written agreement…I don’t know as I am not in the “inner circle”…but I have to ask…”Does that sound like a wise use of taxpayers dollars. ”

    Can anyone say they would just hand over 300K under these circumstances?
    Disclaimer: The above comments are to the best of my recollection from conversations many moons ago…I have no involvement int he specifics, so I make no claim to the accuracy.

  10. Why is everyone upset that Ada County doesn’t want to spend $372K on a new station? Shouldn’t the question be why is Boise Fire spending $744K (actually I believe it’s higher than that)on a new station? Do they really need granite countertops, travertine floors, a 65 inch TV ext. Couldn’t they have wasted your money more efficiently…what’s wrong with the current station 21?

  11. Station 21 is being sold, the details are fuzzy to me, but I guess its being sold out from under the FD for its (considerable) land value.
    I have heard its a cruddy station with always something wrong…, but I have only been in it once or twice a year so I cant speak to that.

    I wont even discuss the EMS “station” behind it that makes station 21 look like a palace.

  12. Croaker,

    You SHOULD discuss the EMS “station” behind BFD station 21! I have heard some of the stories, but do not recall all of the details so it would be better coming from you. The public really ought to know.

  13. Hopefully someone will come when I need them.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: