Don't be fooled by county-wide fire district
March 18, 2017
It has come to my attention that certain people
in authority are pushing for a county wide fire
district. While this sounds great on its face,
there are many problems with this plan.
• Volunteers will get paid better
o False Administration will be better paid, staff will
be hired, and volunteers will be ran off by paid
staff. Volunteers who do basically the same job
will be limited on how much they can be paid due
to an opinion letter by the US Department of
Labor, while paid staff/Chiefs will be paid
• We have better response to fires
o Mostly False We can look to Boundary Ambulance to see
what the plan is. Under Chief Lindsey (Chief of
Boundary Ambulance) he removed outlaying
ambulances and gave them away. Then he bought a
large two wheel drive ambulance which is
unusable in the winter when roads are bad, and
is unable to fit down many rural people’s
driveways. Response times have went 15 minutes
in some areas to 45 minutes before an ambulance
is there. It is worse in the winter.
• It won’t cost that much
o False Look at what was put forward at North Bench,
$1.67 per $1,000 assessed value. So, let’s look
at a property and house valued at $200,000.
$334.00 per year for less coverage then you had
when paying the average of $75.00 a year for
your dues. Almost 4 ½ times more then you are
• The people that are pushing for this, Chief Rohrwasser, South Boundary
Fire Chief, and Chief Lindsey, Chief of EMS
Boundary Ambulance and a Bonner County resident,
only want the best for our community.
o False Look at who are pushing for this. North Bench
Fire chief who earns under $1,000 a month (I
believe closer to $600), If Chief Rohrwasser
becomes the Chief of County Fire, you can rest
assured he will need to be paid more. Deputy
Chiefs will see a huge pay raise. Yet the people
doing the work, will see little to no pay raise,
or simply ran off.
• This will reduce my homeowners insurance
o False Show me when insurance is lowered by going to a
county wide fire. The current fire departments
already provide that. So, no your insurance
won’t be lowered.
• The department will be able to get better equipment
o Mostly false Stations with low call volume will have
reduced equipment on hand. Again, look at
Boundary Ambulance and the removal of outlaying
ambulances. The argument was made that the
outlaying ambulances are not used much so Chief
Lindsey gave away these ambulances. The same
will happen at County Wide Fire. You can bet
that North Bench will get better equipment,
equipment that wont be able to make it up a
driveway because it is to rugged.
• Honestly it cannot be that bad
o True, If you are a chief that is pushing for this.
Look at the departments currently, South
Boundary has how many show up on a call? Very
few, two or three people, and they are a taxing
district. North Bench has a better turn out, but
they are not on the tax rolls 4 to 6 people.
Hall Mountain Fire and Curley Creek Fire, have
large turnouts on fire and medical calls, their
fire fighters are not paid. What does this show?
The higher ups get big wages, but the boots on
the ground get little.
• County wide fire will be better trained
o Mostly false The select few will receive training,
above and beyond, to the point of being
wasteful. This way they can flower up their
resume and show everyone all the training they
have. Meanwhile the volunteers will have to
prove they are worthy of even basic skills
training. Even if the volunteers are pulling the
burden of manning stations. Then when something
that looks good to the paper or a large incident
then the paid staff will show up and take over.
There is a meeting that has not been made
public, but I am letting you know. It is set for
6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the extension
office behind the courthouse. Don’t let them
shine you on and sell you a bill of goods.
Voice your displeasure with this course of
action. Voice your displeasure with how the
ambulance service is being run. Many of us would
like to see you show up and demand that certain
people step down and resign.
Questions or comments about this
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