This is my second letter to the editor - in an attempt to shed some light on the Interlocal Medic One issue. There have been several articles in the Town Crier concerning Medic One funding. Medic One has been fighting budgeting issues for several years now. Medic One provides ALS (advanced life support) for south Lewis County and responds to 911 calls for assistance on ALS.
Essentially all the districts (1, 2, 3, 8, 15, 20) contribute to Medic One funding with districts 2, 15, and 20 managing the "Inter-local". All districts that is except for district 15 whose commissioners have decided they apparently don't have to pay for services rendered and are in favor of disbanding the local Medic One program.
Grant Kistler (District 15's Interlocal representative) seems to think it's okay to accept services, agree to pay for them - and then ignore the billing in an attempt to destroy the Medic One program. Part of the oath of office specified upholding the laws, ethical behavior, and performing in the best interests of your constituents. I fail to see how ignoring a legally binding contract (union), ignoring a valid billing for past services rendered (which you previously agreed to), and not providing for ALS services for your district falls in line with the oath of office for fire commissioner.
When Grant was asked at one of the Interlocal meetings what they would do for ALS services, he stated they were "looking at all options" - and gave no real answer. The options for ALS services are either Medic One - or contracting with AMR (American Medical Response). Almost all of the districts have had experience with AMR and those experiences essentially led to Medic One and the Interlocal being created due to dissatisfaction with AMR services and fees. The Medic One program is not a private, for-profit company. It is an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) "service" paid for by tax dollars and was never intended to be a profitable entity.
AMR's history in south Lewis county (SLC) has not been good so why would you want to go back to those services? AMR is a for profit company who has no interest in SLC other than maximizing profit. They have no "skin in the game" here and the local districts have no say in their management, their employees, their business practices, etc. Alternatively, the Medic One program is managed locally, the employees are paid locally and work for the fire districts directly (through the Interlocal agreement). Good service to the local community is in their best interest.
District 15 has asked to be released from the Interlocal. I think the solution is obvious - let them out. And it makes no sense to have a commissioner on the Interlocal board with voting privileges whose primary objective is the destruction of the Interlocal and Medic One. The ethical thing to do would be for district 15 to withdraw, eliminate the conflict, and pay for the services they agreed to and accepted. (And if they don't pay - proceed with legal action to collect that debt, along with any costs incurred in that collection.)