City Government



LOCATION: Boise Library! on Capitol Blvd. auditorium (entrance around back)
TIME: 7p.m. Monday August 24
FORMAT: Town Hall forum with BFD and EMS each presenting up to 10 minute openers.

Since the GUARDIAN broke the story of Boise Fire Department’s application to go into the ambulance transport business, it has prompted more comments and lively debate than any previous post.

Boise City council has not yet scheduled any public discussion of the issue, but the city has solicited bids for an ambulance and filed several applications for a state ambulance license. We encourage officials from the city, county, hospitals, fire departments, EMS, media, and the general public to attend.

While the GUARDIAN has made it clear we don’t think the idea of Boise FD transporting patients makes much sense, we will do our best to moderate an intelligent discussion to air all the issues and give all sides a chance to share their views.

Please invite anyone who has a “stake” or even just a curiosity about any changes in the way ambulance service is handled in Boise and Ada County. Further comments on the issue will not be published on this post. We will post comments about the meeting and answer questions.

EDITOR NOTE: We can use help with chairs, clean up etc. Anyone with expertise willing to video the meeting would be appreciated. The meeting must end by 9 p.m. per our rental agreement with the library. See you there!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. You better post a format (panel, townhall,etc..) for this meeting. You may turn off some politicos from attending if this just becomes a barroom brawl. Great idea though.

    EDITOR NOTE–Good point. (“I paid for this microphone!”) I plan to offer EMS and BFD each a 10 minute opener and a coin flip decides who goes first. I will moderate a “town hall” type of format with the major “stakeholders” offering up people to answer the questions. The docs, one hospital and one county commish have pretty much confirmed.

  2. BG… you know about how many this room at the library can hold, and does it have a specific name…

    EDITOR NOTE– The room has chairs for 200, holds 250 and it is the AUDITORIUM with entrance either through the main library or off the 8th Street side of the building…near the Anne Frank Memorial.

  3. I bet I know which commish. 🙂

  4. Long Time Observer
    Aug 21, 2009, 8:56 am

    Given the list of attendees, why don’t you just call it the first annual meeting of the, “We Hate the Mayor Club”?

    EDITOR NOTE–We have invited one and all. Hope you are able to make it and offer up some good questions AND answers.

  5. Emergency? I don’t see no stinking Emergency.

    Webster thinks and emergency is, “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.”

    We all know there will be no immediate action taken at this meeting. It is not a commission or city council meeting, so no action can be taken. And, scheduling something for several days in the future smacks of immediacy only to geologists.

    Seems to me that if there is an emergency, it is the need to reunite the BG with his or her dictionary.

    EDITOR NOTE–The TOPIC is “emergency.” If we were to talk of trains or bikes I would have written TRAIN MEETING or BICYCLE MEETING. Hope to see you there with dictionary in hand. We figure there will be quite a few “no shows” from various government reps.

  6. “Emergency!” With the exclamation mark was (I assume) a reference to the 70’s TV series that first showcased a paramedic to the general public.

    And yes, I realize it was a fire based EMS system, but do you really want to spend another 20 post going over the misconceptions caused by that show?

    EDITOR NOTE–Truth is, I was making a play off the library exclamation point since the EMERGENCY! meeting will be at the LIBRARY!

  7. What's the point?
    Aug 21, 2009, 5:19 pm

    As far as I can see, is there a point to this meeting except to expose gov’t conspiracy and bash on the FD exploring options? As far as I have read, seen or heard, nothing has actually been done. To me, if the Gov’t is exploring options, taking bids, having discussions and generally doing their job, they don’t need to educate the public on every action they are CONSIDERING. If they did they would spend every minute in public meetings and never get anything done. Why don’t we as the public wait until some decisions have actually been made and there is a defined direction before send-out-the-dogs! Last I knew, taking bids is not a contract to buy (all major purchases have to go throught the City Council), and isn’t exploring options simply brainstorming what the administration feels might benefit the City best, and after all, isn’t that what we elected and sent these public reps to do for us.

    Everybody take a deep breath and I think you will see this meeting is simply a small mob of conspiracy theroists trying to legitimize thier existance!

    EDITOR NOTE– We agree with your view that discussion (brainstorming) is good and it would take up a lot of valuable government time. Hence the GUARDIAN is sponsoring the town hall meeting so those who were elected can get the views of the populace which they would not have otherwise. Hope to see you there so you too can get “educated” and discuss things with the elected officials you trust so much.

  8. Whats the Point?:

    The leadership of BFD has made it quite plain and clear that this was not a “brainstorming session”, but their plan and goal, and one that (prior to the exposure by the BG and elsewhere) on a fast track to create.

    The letters from the mayor, the statements of the Senior BFD leadership, the statements from the line, and the underhanded way this is being PUSHED, and the bid (which is a FORMAL process, not a “what if”) really illustrates this was way beyond the concept stage.

    Besides, in all my years in public service, I have never seen a project go to the “bid” stage that wasn’t pretty much approved. What you are talking about is “estimates”, a completely different thing. You dont solicit “Bids” on capital projects unless you are deadly serious about proceeding.

    IMHO, any attempt to portray it differently is at best…misleading.

    Thats the point!

  9. Nemo, atleast BG is trying to provide solutions to this boondoggle, YOU on the other hand just throw out your opions here for anyone who will read and respond to them. Well throw them out at that meeting, Stop being part of the problem and be part of the solution. Bring all your “Facts” and data you’ve posted here and present them to the ones who decide the issues.

  10. @Nemo: From what I’ve read, this issue has been brewing for more than 20 years. That hardly seems “fast-tracked”. In fact, since the County’s hand-picked 2003 Blue Ribbon Task Force recommended MORE integration and a larger role for Boise, it’s been one of the top issues with Boise Fire.

    @BG: I’ve spoken with a number of folks who are interested in the subject, but are worried that without more structure, this Town Hall meeting could turn ugly in a hurry. For some members of ACEMS and BFD this is very personal. I’d hate to see the discussion turn into nothing more than a micro-version of the national and nasty health care town halls.

    EDITOR NOTE–We certainly share those concerns. I am hoping my 63 years, fat/bald look and 41 years reporting, photographing, advising, and closely observing the system will count for something. Since we have no bikini dancers or booze available, we trust all will conduct themselves like the professionals they are.
    We ask that folks don’t cry foul before the game starts.

  11. BG, I’bring a bottle of Jack and my bikini if it will get something accomplished lol

  12. Greg Womack
    Aug 24, 2009, 2:40 pm

    News from Boise Fire Fighters Union, Local #149
    For Immediate Release: Monday, August 24, 2009
    Contact: Greg Womack

    Boise Fire Fighters Union Announces They
    Will Not Participate in EMS Town Hall

    (BOISE) – Citing a clear bias, Boise Fire Fighters Local #149 announced today that they will not attend a town hall-style meeting on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) hosted by a local blogger tonight.

    “The host for this event has already taken a stand on the issue and therefore cannot serve as an impartial moderator in this debate,” said Greg Womack, President Local 149. “Boise Fire is committed to ensuring the highest quality emergency medical services to all Boise residents and looks forward to working with all involved parties to achieve that goal.”

    The Boise Fire Department has provided EMS for more than 70 years. Every combat fire fighter is an emergency medical technician, with select fire fighters certified to provide advanced life support. Most recently, Boise Fire has been studying an integrated EMS system using a joint deployment model with the county to improve response times and reduce costs.

    “Our membership is committed to working with the Boise City Council and Boise Fire Department Administration to ensure Boise citizens have the safest, fastest and most cost-effective EMS system possible,” said Aaron Hummel, Vice President for Local 149. “Our focus is, and always will be, to save more lives and create the most efficient system possible through the continuous improvement of Boise Fire’s role in EMS.”

    The Fire Fighters have outlined several principles they would like to see addressed through Professional Services Agreement between the City of Boise and Ada County, including:
    • Joint Deployment Model
    • Scene Management
    • Medical Protocols
    • Use of Fire Department Facilities

    “Our membership believes that the best method to resolve many of the existing issues between Boise Fire and Ada County EMS is to clearly define the expectations of the pre-hospital care transport provider through a Professional Services Agreement,” said Womack. “Addressing issues such as scene management, a joint deployment model and standard written medical protocols are the first steps toward creating a true pre-hospital emergency care system in the City of Boise.”

    About Boise Fire Fighters Local #149
    Formed in 1918, Boise Fire Fighters Local #149 represents 250 Boise fire fighters. We seek to promote a safe, harmonious and progressive work environment in order to better serve the citizens of Boise whom we have sworn to protect.

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