Fire chief's threats not appreciated
January 2, 2009 · 10:34 AM
I read with great interest the article in the Independent regarding the possibilities that would result from a failure of the forthcoming SKFR renewal levy (“Chief says levy failure would be devastating to SKFR”).
Chief Senter says that if the levy does fail that SKFR would lose all paramedic service capability and that residents would have to rely on services from as far away as Bremerton — most likely private services.
I have lived in South Kitsap for just over 33 years and I cannot recall hearing of such a threat.
Yes, I am 72 now and my memory is not the best. Be that as it may, I stick by my memory in this case.
Yes, SKFR has had setbacks, but nothing like this. We have given them most of what they ask for including a recent increase in the allowable tax rate — the name of which slips my mind (see, I told you about my memory).
Anyway, I think this is just a threat and not a thinly veiled one at that.
SKFR has expanded a lot in recent years, not only improving services, but taking on more territory as in contracting with the city of Port Orchard to provide fire and paramedic services within the city limits.
I wonder if they have exceeded themselves and expanded too much and too fast and that is the reason for their possible budget crunch.
With a governing board and the professionalism that is supposed to be going on up there on Fircrest, I think that they would have seen this coming, if in fact, it was.
Certainly they don’t follow Wall Street thinking patterns, do they?
To me, the cessation of paramedic services in South Kitsap is totally unacceptable.
Yes, if SKFR is in a budget crunch, a cutback may be necessary, but they should (or must) be flexible enough to absorb this and to provide some sort of paramedic services locally without having to rely on the yahoo private services from the likes of Bremerton.
I think that Chief Senter should have thought before he and his board made such an outlandish statement.
His threat is not well-received, in my book.