(March 4th), I attended an open forum/town meeting in Beaver Valley. This meeting was to discuss the Beaver Valley citizen's concerns regarding implementing their own fire department. I would like to thank Bing Brown for keeping the discussions going and heading off arguments. Frank Hansen also did his best to answer our concerns.
After having a day to think about what transpired, I'm ready to share my opinion.
As a citizen of BV and a fire department volunteer I, naturally, have my own concerns. I believe that none of us volunteers ever wanted to alienate HMFD or lose the potential for their back-up. The volunteers here are putting in a lot of personal time to accumulate whatever training is necessary to help protect our community. We want to be part of the group of neighboring fire districts, definitely not alienated from any of them.
I can't speak for the two fire district boards that are butting heads right now, I can only speak as a concerned citizen.
I heard talk of ISO ratings mixed with talk of medical emergency response time. These are two entirely different things, we need to remember that.
BV will have an adequately equipped fire department along with trained personnel regarding fire response, there is no reason why our ISO rating should change. If anything, our ISO should get better with equipment and personnel available in our community. Granted, we still need time to provide the best possible emergency medical service. Training in the medical field takes time.
I still don't understand why we can't work out an agreement in regards to the EMTs and paramedics living in Beaver Valley, but volunteering with HMFD. A payment per call could work for us until we are adequately trained to supply medications to patients, i.e., we have trained paramedics volunteering in BV.
Another comment at the meeting was that we've had adequate coverage and this person didn't care what it cost. But, immediately after this comment, I heard concerns about our tax rates possibly being increased. Houston Mesa has already stated that they've been "carrying us." Might they cut us off if we don't increase our tax base in the future for their coverage?
Please be aware that I, along with many others, am spending a lot of my time studying, training and working for our community. I'd like to see someone acknowledge this fact other than our fire chief.
Laura Plues, Beaver Valley resident and Beaver Valley Fire District volunteer