The Mayor wants the people of Oroville to believe it is because of state and federal guidelines. This is not true. There is a lot more involved than he wants to tell you. In January I had a meeting with the Mayor, one of the things we talked about was being short-handed and we needed more help with day coverage, and how we can fix the problem. I informed him that some of the EMTs in Tonasket are willing to help us (but not for $10.00 for a 12 shift like we get) and that we needed to increase the standby from $10.00 to $36.00. At a city council meeting the Mayor stated he was ready to increase the standby pay to $36.00, but the county told him he cannot make any decisions at this time (this was in March).
During all this we found out that the city was talking to Lifeline. At a council meeting the Mayor stated that they were looking for options for the Ambulance service. The four EMTs and crew wanted to be able to continue to provide service for our community, so we started a non-profit ambulance service,
and we presented a proposal to the city. Last month at the city council meeting, the conversation about not being able to make any decision was brought up and he (the Mayor) claims he never said that, and that it was his decision to put everything on hold.
The Mayor stated in the paper that “we have the right in an emergency situation to do a temporary hire” why was he not willing to do this six months ago? If you ask me, this emergency situation started
back in February.
In my opinion, personal feelings impeded a needed timely reaction. The ambulance crew has given up a lot for this community. We did not do this for the money. We did this for our community. We tried to work with the city by doing the best we could with what we had. The Mayor had until the 23rd of this month to fix the problem. Instead of the Mayor working with us and paying $36.00 per stand-by so we could get help, or accepting our proposal, we were given about 12-18 hours notification of termination effective as of 0800 Friday morning the 9th of August 2015, stating that the City and County have decided to execute, and give Lifeline a contract. It is to my understanding that Lifeline has put a two-person crew up here. This means that if the ambulance goes on a call and if there is another call before they get back, they will have to wait for Tonasket to respond. I do not see how this benefits Oroville.
Maybe the Mayor will give the people of Oroville some answers, because all he would ever say to us is “there is no new info.” Another reason I had resign is because I no longer know if what was said is the truth. For the people who think that Chris Allen is a troublemaker. Whenever Chris thought that the
City did wrong he called them on it. We need more people like him on the city council that is willing to stand up to the Mayor no matter who he or she is.
It is time to make changes and that starts at the top.