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Open Letter to San Bernardino County Fire and Board of Supervisors

By   /   January 16, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Twentynine Palms – Is 29 Palms safer today, than it was yesterday? Yes.

dunce clowns

This is welcome news for the entire city of residents; businesses; its 30 or so churches; the Tortoise Rock Casino (soon to open); developers; builders; public schools in 29; parents; investors; In-keepers; travelers and visitors to our wonderful remote desert paradise. We all are safer today than yesterday. Why?

Because it was reported over the airwaves today by County Fire Captain Jon Garber that County Fire in Joshua Tree yesterday put into service their Station 36′s new fire engine. Captain Garber also reported that the new fire engine has rope rescue gear, a pump system that lets it pump water out of pools or ponds, directly to its hoses, or to store in its 500-gallon water tank, Stokes basket, used to rescue and lift patients.

It’s ready to roll to come to aid of 29 Palm‘s under a “mutual aid” reciprocal agreement between JT County Fire and TPFD whereas they come to our rescue and we go to their rescue. Sounds great, huh? Well not so great for JT County Fire, or YV County Fire.

The TPFD just cannot leave the city completely unprotected without fire services in order to provide mutual aid to any surrounding communities to the West.

At issue, the problem is that the city council has allowed the TPFD to become inadequate, nearly bankrupt, under staffed, Chief Thompson terribly overworked, one fire engine shut down without firefighters, one station locked down, firefighters dismissed and the city has failed to provide municipal public safety in term of an adequate TPFD. The city is living in the past and ignoring it primary duties… public safety.

The objective reality is the water district (TPWD) need help from the city. Fifty years ago the water district oversaw the TPFD. It is just not in a position to do that any longer. The times have changed, while the city council is living a sweet dream of having it all but providing very few real services.

Thank you County Fire. As you know the City Council in 29 Palms is relying on you so that it may continue to recklessly spend money on just about every non-priority you can imagine like hundreds of thousand on signs, artsy goats, walls, roll-out signs, flashing billboards for Theatre 29, funding a Chamber of Commerce, a million bucks to outside legal council with nothing to show for it — but no money for “rescue or municipal fire safety?

Yet as we all know, the City has from 8-12 million in Reserve Funds; it blows 22% of property taxes it gets back from the county, money for public necessities. However, the city refuse to relinquish any of its “blow money” for public safety — even though the council has spent it’s way through literally hundreds of thousands of dollars, from every source it can wrap it knuckles around —  including a most recent $500, 000 the state “kicked-back” to the city.

Frankly, County Fire (Base Fire too) ought to wise up and give the city an ultimatum that they need to take steps to be able to honor its Mutual Aid reciprocal agreement.

True, there is a bit if cynicism in this post. But County Fire and Board of Supervisors should  think about wising-up. How long are you going to let the city get a free ride? 

Updated 1/6/14 @ 3:20 p.m.

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About the author

Branson Hunter

Senior Corespondent At Large

"The ends do not justify the means." If you use illegal mean to accomplish a legal and even desirable result, the good result does not make the bad means you used justifiable.

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