|June 9, 2012
If a community is to thrive and remain viable,
there are some infrastructure needs that must be
met. Those requirements are good schools, good
high speed internet and wireless phone coverage;
and good, fast medical services.
Since we can’t sustain ourselves from local
sources, we must by necessity be connected and
dependent on some outside help beyond our region
for goods and services. So I add some form of
public transportation to connect us to the outer
Without these elements in a community, the
community will not be able to attract business
to move in that will provide living wage jobs
that we do desperately need. Without good
infrastructure it is very difficult to get the
kind of businesses needed for our youth to find
jobs and stay in the community.
I heard over 300 families have moved to areas
where there are good paying jobs. I am not sure
how to verify that number, but I do know several
young people who have left. I am happy that
these folks have found work that will feed,
clothe and shelter their families, but it
saddens me to know that we are becoming a
community of older folks and that our youth have
had to leave the area to find a way to sustain
their own dreams.
We have failed our youth and in doing so may be
sealing our own demise as a viable community. We
have so much potential, but without action and
leadership to bring about the needs to sustain a
viable community, we will die.
Look at the number of businesses that have
closed this year. Many are long-time businesses
that have been main stays of our community.
Without growth, more will close their doors.
This brings me to the real reason for this note:
medical care, which often starts with an
Having well trained EMTs, paramedics and
adequate equipment to meet the needs of this
community is one of the legs of viability.
Does the law requiring the county to provide
ambulance service address what level of served
is adequate or recommended for a population of
approximately 11,000, according to the 2010
On a recent evening, we had a situation where
one ambulance and driver would not have been
able to handle the two emergencies occurring
during the same time frame: (1) Someone ran into
the rail north bound approaching the Kootenai
River Bridge on 95. One EMT was pumping the
victim’s chest while others were preparing him
for the ride in the ambulance. (2) On Highway 2
during the same time frame, there was a rollover
accident requiring emergency services.
The proposed one ambulance and driver coming
from Bonner County could not have handled these
two emergencies. In a case such as this, who
makes the decision who lives and who potentially
dies? Is this setting our county up for some
nasty litigation downstream? Are we going back
I spoke with the head of the ambulance team and
asked how often this kind of situation occurs.
His response was weekly, and that is a
Sending tax dollars paid in Boundary County to
Bonner County for services that should be
provided by our county does not seem like a good
plan or solution to this problem.
This issue has been with us for some time.
Certainly long enough that we have all heard
this before, but when are our elected officials
going to start taking action, leading this
community to come together to make the tough
decision needed to sustain our community and do
the jobs that they were elected to do?
These are not easy decisions, but must be
addressed in a way that benefits all of our