It should be about lives saved, not territory lost

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A meeting was held at the Town Council on March 21 where we (PRFR) presented a program, again, on providing FREE Paramedic level emergency medical care to the residents of the Town of Mammoth like we do for the residents and visitors to our own service area. Arizona Revised Statutes even has a specific law addressing this very issue allowing such an agreement.

Mammoth Fire District showed up in full force to once again protect their “turf” rather than see the big picture of what is best for the town residents as a whole for faster Paramedic care. Sadly, very few residents were actually there again so as a result only Mammoth Fire District’s voice was heard because they were the loudest. We have tried for a year and a half to help our new neighbors to no avail.

When we first moved here to Mammoth to retire two years ago, I tried to join the Mammoth Fire District to help. Apparently, highly trained and qualified people are not permitted on their department…if you are not related somehow. A short time later, I was asked to come help a neighbor who was having a stroke, which I did. The next morning Mammoth Fire District and the ambulance crew immediately turned me into the state to try to get my Paramedic certification taken away even though I had taken all the paperwork and showed it to Mammoth Fire District administration that I had medical direction. The State did not see it their way and I was completely absolved.

This is exactly the kind of animosity we have faced since day one. In addition, because of the underhanded dealings of the Mammoth Fire District personnel in the past concerning our certifications, we will not risk our Paramedic certifications to additional attacks of false accusations.

There is a liability law called “Borrowed Servant” in which a Paramedic or EMT is legally responsible for someone they direct to provide care. We cannot assume the liability to provide care to any residents of the Town of Mammoth in conjunction with the Mammoth Fire District.

I am quite sure that Rick Sanchez and the Mammoth Fire District believes this was a great victory for the District in protecting their “turf.”

But, there were no winners…

The REAL reality is that every resident of the Town of Mammoth was the loser…the children, the elderly, your parents and grandparents, and those that live in our community with special needs.

We apologize to our neighbors but until a more agreeable relationship can be realized, you are stuck with what you have.

Only you can make the changes that are necessary to improve the conditions here. We tried…

/s/ Bud Paine, NREMT-P

Fire Chief

Pinal Rural Fire Rescue

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