City Government

Sneaky Language In Revised Ordinance

Boise City Councilors have just come off an intense season of budget work and approvals during tough economic times, but it appears they don’t know the status of important city government issues.

Councilors are about to approve an ordinance that will give the fire chief additional sweeping authority, including going into the ambulance transport business. The ordinance on Tuesday’s agenda is being sold to councilors as a “houskeeping” measure. It has already been “read” at two official public at council meetings. Truth is, no one has read it because the change is on the “consent agenda” which is just routine formality for the council.

Team Dave’s legal department inserted “MANAGERIAL AUTHORITY” as well as “TRANSPORT” into the ordinance–thus allowing the chief to run an ambulance service.


PROPOSED CHANGE C. The managerial authority for fire, medical treatment and transport, hazardous materials, and other rescue emergencies;
CURRENT LAW: C.Providing response capability for fire, medical, hazardous materials, and other rescue emergencies.”

This flies in the face of declarations from the politicos that they are merely “brainstorming, exchanging ideas, in discussion, exploring alternatives,” with regard to ambulance service. It would seem pretty clear they plan to go into the ambulance business.

This type of legal maneuvering is why the GUARDIAN is forced to exist and provide a town hall meeting tonight at the the Boise Public Library on Capitol Blvd. at 7 p.m. to discuss ambulance service.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Was Bisterfield and Tibbs aware of the revision?

    EDITOR NOTE–As we said in the post, these things are not really considered until the third reading at best. Council–unwisely sometimes– depends upon “staff” recommendations. Until the GUARDIAN postings it is probably fair to say council was unaware of MOST of this stuff.


    Look at Aug 2009.

    Does this mean that is already a done deal.

    EDITOR NOTE–History shouldn’t be written “prematurely.” Note the disclaimer at the bottom of the linked page.

  3. David A Honey
    Aug 24, 2009, 2:49 pm

    Without going through alot of finger pointing at the obvious arrogance of some elected officials (city council), This past year I have watched them ignore the opinion of the public after ‘allowing public input’, do their best to put us in long term debt (against the Idaho Constitution and the vote of the people), and basically do whatever they damn well want to. We don’t need a replacement ambulance for the one already serving us, we don’t need to spend money on a service already provided, and once again…WE DONT NEED A TROLLEY! Some legacy to leave behind!!! It’s a good thing that more of the members are not on the ballot this year, it’s time for us the citizens to clean house.. If you want to know where I stand, just ask, or look at my webpage.

  4. Greg Womack
    Aug 24, 2009, 3:26 pm

    News from Boise Fire Fighters Union, Local #149
    For Immediate Release: Monday, August 24, 2009
    Contact: Greg Womack 371-1121

    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.

  5. Tired of FD Politics
    Aug 24, 2009, 5:09 pm

    Are you kidding me?

  6. Greg – your assumption that the moderator is going to sway the discussion is just a clever excuse to duck out and not attend.

    I thought firefighters were braver than this.

    Poor form and poor assumptions.

  7. Good for Mr. Womack. It is obvious that the host of this event has taken a stand on this issue and no matter what is presented by the fire department the issue will be seen as big bad city picking on poor old Ada County. It is also obvious that there are a few, and I mean a very few, fire department hating people that use this blog to justify their own existence.

    The way I see it, BFD is taking the high road while Ada County is as usual taking the low road.

  8. So I would like to see which councilor makes the motion to remove this from the consent agenda and then remove the changes – if no one does you know they are all in the railroad job behind this.

    EDITOR NOTE–Law allows any citizen to pull it, but I don’t think that will be necessary.

  9. lesstaxesplz
    Aug 24, 2009, 5:46 pm

    Complete B.S. Womack, Hummel you should be ashamed.

  10. Mr. Womack, I doubt you’ll reply to my post but I’ll inform you of some facts here. BG has remained very neutral as to who has the bigger ems stick, BFD or ACEMS. I believe BG’s concern is how Boise’s Mayor and Fire Chief are going about getting an ALS Transport service, behind the scenes meeting (You’ve probably been involved in some), doing things on the sly to keep their efforts for an ALS Tramsport quiet until all the parts are in place, in general hiding from public scrutiny on the issue. You want public support Mr. Womack then you better be more open with the public, that includes You, the Fire Chief, and the Mayor.

  11. Mr. Womack is well aware that the BFD position on taking over transportation from Ada County is not justifiable from the position of service provision or financial feasibility. “Americas Bravest” along with their purchased mayor, do not want to suffer the humiliating public exposure of their proposal to throw the taxpayer under the bus only to grow their union. This is an act of cowardice

  12. Mr. Womack,
    Your message included “Boise Fire has been studying an integrated system using a joint deployment model with the county to improve response times and reduce cost”. Nice rhetoric. Since you ducked out on the Town Hall meeting, perhaps you could explain how moving an ambulance into a station where one already exists, all courtesy of Boise City taxpayers, will improve response times or reduce cost.

  13. It seems like the main argument against BFD going into the transport service is cost. Those that seem to support it keep saying they can do it cheaper but have yet to explain how. Anybody out there want to help a brother out on this? I am always about saving taxpayer money and we are waiting for you to explain HOW you will do this, as you continue to state. Anybody?????? Hummel? Doan? Mayor? Womack? City counsel? Somebody? Anybody?

  14. It’s okay Brandon. As WOW put it, the good ol FD is “taking the high road” on this one. I would like to know what road BFD is on so I can get some information about these issues as well.

  15. Mr. Womack – if you have this data please post it here – – – – 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

    I want to see your outlines.
    Please put your data up…or we will assume your don’t really have any.

  16. Brandon, my buddy, maybe we could discuss the elimination of redundancies that would occur with a “true” consolidation. Lord knows there is “fat” in both of our operations. Let’s focus on your joint for now. Brandon, do you remember the Station 14 fiasco? We, the big and bad and insufferable BFD, offered to co-build a station on Five Mile road to serve the great residents of Southwest Boise. BFD, through the Whitney Fire District would pay the lions share of the costs. Do you remember that? Troy Hagan, all smiles and “Aw shucks”! says that it sounds like a good idea. We proceed through the planning stages and go to the architect to design a station which will co-habitate fire and ems. Any of this ringing a bell? At the last minute, Troy wants to make changes and it causes extra expense with the architect, but the unreasonable and unwieldy people at BFD decide to relent and allow changes because they hate collaboration…WTF? Finally, after we have a station design that both parties agree to, Troy pulls the plug on the project all together and builds a station less than a mile away. Saved the taxpayers a bunch of money there…didn’t you?. One minor example. 2 sets of facilities, no synergy of response, and no real coordination of training. Gee, you ACP people are soooo collaborative.

  17. Jim:

    I remember a few things about the station 14 Fiasco and I say “Fiasco” because it was…. on both parts. There was certainly agreement and then disagreement between both parties. However at the end of the day, evicting M52 from the then Station 21, only served to hurt the citizens because Fire admin was trying to prove a point. I didn’t agree with the decisions made on our part, but to not have an ambulance in that district so the property would be easier to sell without ACP on the premises was wrong. It’s that simple. Pointing fingers and blaming can go on forever and both sides have some valid arguments in the history. Fragmenting a county wide service delivery for EMS is a step in the wrong direction. Consolidation is something that BFD is very proactive about when it pertains to Fire Department personnel. I have yet to see this cross over to EMS. Why?

    We can work together and I’ve seen it / done it and when it works well…. it works great. Then something like this BFD ambulance thing pops up and is flown low under the radar hoping that no one will notice, back door deals are made and the only result out of this would be that the citizens once again would suffer and relationships are back to square one.

    Experienced paramedics not delivering EMS service is a detriment to public safety regardless of the color of shirt you work in. Resident doctors don’t treat patients without attending physicians looking over their shoulder and ensuring quality care is delivered. Paramedicine is no different. I would like to see a consolidation of all public safety EMS / Fire services with the goal in mind of creating a true EMS / Fire delivery system w/ the option to cross train either way if an individual wanted to do that. That would also include dissolving the 6 or 7 fire districts and taking that money paid to all redundant staff / admin and putting it back into the system to enhance it through training, equipment, facilities, etc, etc. With this goal in mind we have the opportunity to create a nationwide model of outstanding care and delivery. That’s innovation. That’s cutting edge.

    Let’s all do what’s best for the system. A grass roots initiative is what that would take because anyone with vested interest right now is looking out only for number 1. But… it could be done. And it would be beneficial to all involved. Maybe not to the respective PACS but certainly the right thing to do for the taxpayers / citizens. Let’s end the “Us vs. Them” mentality and work toward a logical end and create a “Great” system together.

  18. Sound like all you kids have too much of other people’s money to play with… I always teach my kids the difference between a government employee and the people that earn the money.

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