It’s been TWO years since the new LMRFD (Meadview and Dolan Springs) fire district board took office.
The good news is that LMRFD is not insolvent again.
The bad news is the lack of transparency, constant state of confusion and strange things going on with the administrative assistant Karen and her complete and utter incompetence. She is not even capable of getting a subscription button on the LMRFD blog and posting important announcements such as next meeting time and place, CHANGES to meeting times, availability of agenda, minutes, documents. She can’t even get the minutes right.
I do not understand why the residents in the fire district PAY someone THAT incompetent! The chief can’t even produce a SIMPLE report with all calls and some info about the nature of the calls so I can PAY for reports that resulted in transports, refusals or DOAs. I’ve been asking for well over half a year.
I can’t imagine what the administrative assistant gets paid for — it reeks of corruption or nepotism — something is very WRONG!
Just about every board meeting starts with the board CORRECTING the minutes, sometimes delaying minute approval for MONTHS because the corrections were not made.
Meadview has one guy AT BEST at the fire station.
He cannot transport patients by himself.
Nobody knows what they’ll be charged for ambulance transports when the insurance pays less than the full amount and many people refuse transports or don’t call 911. Not to mention that you might be dead by the time the ambulance gets to Meadview.
So here’s my letter to Chief DeMaio:
Dear Chief DeMaio,
I can’t believe those minutes again …
The audio of the last board meeting needs to be uploaded to LMRFD.org.
Since I missed recording part of the last meeting, please upload the audio to LMRFD.org so we can listen to what was actually said. Apparently board member Charlotte Kiffer was told that the audio file was too large to email and that she could listen to it at the Dolan Springs station.
I am neither retired nor wealthy and driving 60 miles to sit at your Dolan station to listen to the recording really does not work for me.
Please send the link to the audio by email, thank you!
The public has no access to the financial documents such as budgets discussed at the board meetings and the LMRFD website is dysfunctional and essentially abandoned.
The residents don’t know what to expect when they call 911 and whether they’ll get a bill for the amount not covered by insurance.
Frank, the owner of the Dolan Springs hardware store, walked out of the recent LMRFD budget meeting because it was a waste of time to attend without the budget documents.
So I am asking you to put the following items on the agenda for the next board meeting:
a) LMRFD will video record future meetings and promptly upload the video and post it at LMRFD.org so residents can see what really happens at LMRFD.
During the 2016 initial board members’ campaign board member Debbie Cass told me that she is very knowledgeable with computers and she stated that she was in favor of LMRFD recording the video of board meetings and posting the video online.
However, not only have I had to waste MY time and money TRYING to record the meetings, but often I was not notified of meeting time changes.
b) All information related to board meetings will be posted at LMRFD.org and a subscription button will be added to the LMRFD.org WordPress blog.
- The next meeting date is posted within 48 hours after every board meeting.
- The agenda is posted once available, at minimum 48 hours prior to the meeting.
- All documents to be discussed at the board meeting will be posted at minimum 48 hours prior to the meeting.
- All documents related to every meeting will be posted at LMRFD.org in a properly named folder or section such as “2/24/18 board meeting”
- The documents will be in PDF format with descriptive file names, such as 2018-2-24–LMRFD-agenda.pdf.
- Obviously, subscribers must be able to receive notice of each new posting, hence the subscription button.
c) Discussion of the contract with the company / person who installed this sorry excuse of the LMRFD blog that has been essentially abandoned.
- A copy of the contract will be provided to the public.
I heard that LMRFD paid $1,000 for the LMRFD WordPress blog installation. I did not know that LMRFD was getting bids for the website as I would have been able to install a functional WordPress website WITH a subscription button, STRUCTURE to allow for easy uploads and organization of documents, a MANUAL for posting and updating, 5 hours employee training and 3 months tech support and minor changes/updates for $500.
If it is true that $1,000 were paid, updates and functionality as outlined above must be added by that company/person free of charge along with a manual and employee training.
d) LMRFD will prepare and distribute its billing policy and response times to residents so they will know what to expect when they call 911.
Many residents don’t call 911 or refuse transport because they are afraid of the bills. In fact, you may recall the testimony about the 80+ year old man who refused transport to KRMC at the Meadview Family Dollar after he fell because he could not afford the $300 cab ride back home from the hospital.
I heard that Meadview residents died after it took over an hour for the paramedics to get to a patient, in one case after a patient suffered a stroke (when every second counts.)
I noticed a number of DOAs in your reports and wonder what actually happened. Recently you reported 3 DOAs.
What is going on?
Are people waiting too long to call?
Does it take too long for the EMTs to get there?
Would they likely have lived if medical help arrived sooner?
There is no way of telling how many people died because they were afraid of the costs for an ambulance run to the hospital.
The lack of transparency and the lack of factual information available to the residents who pay your salary is NOT acceptable. If these issues are not resolved to my satisfaction, I will be filing a formal complaint.
I am also going to contact state legislators as LMRFD is not the only fire district in constant trouble and incapable of properly serving the people who pay for services they expect and deserve, but don’t get.
Having ONE guy at the Meadview fire station and not even all the time is totally unacceptable. My concern is NOT fire suppression, but medical services. It’s about saving lives.
When was the last time LMRFD saved a life in Meadview due to its fire suppression services?
How many fire calls from Meadview did LMRFD get over the last 10 years?
These are NOT rhetorical questions, I’d really like to know.
LMRFD has NO plan to improve medical services in Meadview!
It’s been two years since the new board took over and you became chief. I’m out of patience.
I will oppose any attempt to force me into this sorry excuse of a fire district.
I did not campaign against the proposed fire district tax increase last year because I am not in the district. I WILL campaign against any attempt to force me into this mismanaged district that does absolutely nothing for Meadview.
Meadview would be much better off after separation from LMRFD, which would still provide ambulance service just as it does for White Hills and 93 (these areas are NOT in the LMRFD fire district and property owners in those areas are not paying a dime to LMRFD.)
Even the current Meadview revenue (with few properties in the district) would pay for a full-time nurse. With all Meadview properties contributing, we could have 24/7 MEDICAL coverage. This is one reason why I will be contacting legislators as currently medical services essentially don’t exist and we need traveling nurses to make home visits to our mostly elderly population.
Laws will have to be changed, as we need medical, not fire districts.
I’m all for working WITH LMRFD and sharing resources and knowledge, but Meadview being part of LMRFD is not working for us up here and your contempt for my many requests for reports and documents is inexplicable and inexcusable.
Until Meadview separated from LMRFD I will do whatever I can to improve the quality of healthcare for the Meadview residents and that starts with you finally firing Karen and hiring someone more competent.
I’ll greatly appreciate your cooperation,
Posted at [this URL]
Well, that got a lot longer than planned and it is not a comprehensive analysis of LMRFD problems, but it’s a start.
It’s also election time and couldn’t be better timing to get feedback from incumbents and candidates in the Arizona state legislature.
Hopefully soon I’ll be updating with feedback from our legislators and candidates, who by the way, should have a solid record of giving a damn about the people out here.