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Concern for Current Horseshoe Bend Ambulance and Fire Department Response Systems

Note: This letter does not reflect or state opinions of the BCC Staff but instead is offered as a open letter for discussion.

An Open Letter to HSB City Council and Mayor

March 8, 2017

Horseshoe Bend Mayor

City Council members

My Grandparents and Father have been long time residents of Horseshoe Bend. I now call Horseshoe Bend my Home.

I am addressing you today with concerns in the community that need to be address and solved.

As you welcome more business into the valley are you sure we are prepared to protect and service their needs?

The issue is the emergency first responders system currently in place. There is an issue that could be potential serious.

The Current Ambulance System:

There are way to many times that the ambulance is out of service or that no one answers a call for the ambulance. There have been within the last month at least 6 such calls that I have heard on my scanner. There have been times that there was a driver but no EMT. That does not include the ones that I have not heard. Calls where someone has fallen, car accident, hurt individual waiting at the fire station and a few more that I did not record notes on. There also seems to be a divide where some EMT’s will only go with certain drivers. We need a unified plan where is should not matter who is on the schedule. The ambulance should be there for all residents and visitors. No one from Garden Valley, Eagle, Emmett or Life flight should have to come in place of our services that should be available.

I do not want it to be me someday and have to wait 30 to 45 minutes for help to arrive from another location when one is located in town. It may be a life or death situation.

Life Flight should only be called when it is necessary to transport to Boise in a timely manner. Not because we don’t have an EMT on duty. There should be someone on duty 24 hours a day. I do believe that is what some of our taxes are allowed to pay for?

The Fire Department:

The fire depart has had a few calls where there is no one to go. But overall there always seems to be someone there. But again there should be someone there 24 hours a day. The fire department does not have the training to handle a large disaster should one arise. It is time that the city addresses this issue and considers making the Ambulance and fire department one department. Garden Valley A paid fire chief with full time volunteers who receive a stipend for the calls they are also cross trained as EMT’s . They still have volunteers available to assist on these calls and when call volume is high. Garden Valley has approximately 307 full time residents Horseshoe Bend has approximately 709. [Editor’s Note: Numbers from a 2010 Census and may be even higher in both locations] It is time that both departments come together as one and get the training needed to protect and respond to our resident’s needs. It is up to you and the council to make this happen.

I just don’t think that the key people responsible for either department can be run effectively if they are at work on another job.

The Fire Chief is my son and there may not be as many complaints about his department as the ambulance, but the fire department has more response than the ambulance. This is not to ensure him a job, he has one. I would just like to see both departments working together for the community. They need the resources to receive training so in case of an emergency they are able to handle it with professionalism. I want to know that if I need an ambulance or fire responder that I receive one in a timely manner. I am sure every resident would feel the same.

If you create a paid position for ether department they would be able to assist the city in various project in the community on their down time. This will free up money spent for project that you hire out.

I leave it up to you Mayor and the city council to find the appropriate solution. I think it is time that the Fire and Ambulance Departments in Horseshoe Bend are compensated in some way that they take pride in helping the community and are eager to do so,a small recognition for their hard work and dedication for the community. We will see growth in the future and we need to be ready for that growth and currently we are not.


Pat Howell -HSB Resident





1 Comment on Concern for Current Horseshoe Bend Ambulance and Fire Department Response Systems

  1. The main difference between Garden Valley and Horseshoe Bend Emergency services is that Garden Valley Ambulance is operated through the Fire District. The Horseshoe Bend EMTs are organise under the auspices of the city.

    Under Idaho Law provides that the County is responsible for the Ambulance service. In other parts of the county, this has been accomplished through establishing an Ambulance District. This could be done in Horseshoe Bend, if the city wants to turn over control, and the voters wished to tax themselves for funding.

    This has not been entirely successful for the East Boise Taxing District, due to some personal and territorial issues, but if everyone worked together it could provide enhanced service in Horseshoe Bend.

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