Truckee Fire chief: ‘I think it’s in our best interest to take a timeout …’
May 18, 2010
TRUCKEE, Calif. – Bryce Keller said the Truckee Fire Protection District is taking a step back from the controversial decision to house emergency services in Olympic Valley.
After significant pressure from a number of agencies and residents and amid accusations its board of directors had acted unethically, the district on Saturday removed the ambulance from Squaw – but Fire Chief Keller still believes the district should be there in the future.
“I think it’s in our best interest to take a timeout and work through these matters,” Keller said Tuesday. “I’m confident we can come to a reasonable solution.”
The lease for the Tavern Inn condominium – where the ambulance resided – is for six months, and while it sits vacant now, Keller said he hopes to have an ambulance back when these issues are resolved.
“TFPD believes closing the station is a disservice to our EMS constituents in Olympic Valley,” the district wrote in a statement Friday. “However, because of recent actions by local agencies including a threat by the Sierra Sacramento Valley Emergency Medical Services Agency to revoke TFPD’s paramedic ambulance permit if they remain in Olympic Valley, we feel this is our best course of action at this time.”
Sierra Sacramento Valley, the authority for ambulance services in the region, sent the letter May 11, stating Truckee Fire had 10 days to show cooperation with other districts in the area, and to improve response times within the district.
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Truckee Fire has sent a letter in response, Keller said, notifying Sierra Sacramento Valley of its Saturday move out of Olympic Valley, and the district is now waiting for a response.
Truckee Fire officials said the district hopes to have the matter settled “in the very near future.”
According to commentary at recent Truckee Fire and Squaw fire board meetings, other agencies that have taken issue with Truckee Fire’s placement of an ambulance in Olympic Valley include Squaw Valley Public Service District and Fire Department, Placer County as represented by Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery and the Office of Emergency Services and the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.