Questions raised regarding unorthodox landing zone for medical helicopter

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On June 5, there was an incident at the Mammoth Community Center. My prayers go out to the family involved.

A helicopter had to be called in, and, because procedure wasn’t followed, many children and adults were put in harms way. The Town of Mammoth was not involved in anyway, so I am told.

A meeting was scheduled and posted at the Mammoth Fire Department for June 12 at 10 a.m., at the Mammoth Town Hall. I showed up at the Town Hall just before 10 a’m and was told by the receptionist that there was no meeting scheduled. I went up to the Fire Department and I was told that the meeting was to be held at the Town Hall. I went back to the Town Hall and people were gathering for the meeting.

The Town Manager came out and told us she had been ordered not to participate in the meeting; she was in tears. The manager told us we were free to use the meeting room if we wished. I was talking to the Town Manager in her office, when the VIce Mayor, Regina Medina, stormed into the hallway, yelling at the Town Manager; something to the effect that “I told you not to get involved” and that we, the citizens of Mammoth, could not use the hall.

SInce the meeting was canceled, I asked Rick Sanchez to reschedule for the next day and he refused, so I asked Mr. Ponce and he said he would.

On June 6, the second meeting was held at the Mammoth Fire Department at 6 p.m. In the meeting it was brought out by witnesses that the children were hiding, behind cars and trees, from the flying debris. Rick Sanchez and a Mammoth police officer were directing traffic, and Rick Sanchez was directing the helicopter pilot. No warning was given to the pool manager, so that he could get the children out of harm’s way. “The dust was so thick that I could not see anything.” stated one witness. The children were within two hundred feet of the helicopter. Thank God, no eyes were put out and no one was injured.

The Mammoth Fire Department, volunteers did no wrong as far as what came out in the meeting. Neither did the helicopter pilot Only one person was responsible for putting the children in harm’s way and that is the person who directed the helicopter pilot to land at the Community Center and not the soccer field. The soccer field is the designated spot for landing, and, from what I understand, a member of the Mammoth Fire Department was at the soccer field waiting for the helicopter.

The incident has to be fully investigated and the person responsible should be reprimanded and/or discharged. The results should also be sent to Pete Rios.

On June 5, there was a budget meeting at the Town Hall at 6 p.m. The Mayor wants to cut employee hours of work from 40 a week to 32. I told them I wanted a Layoff that would take us back to where we were before they started hiring and raising wages.

The last time they cut the hours of work, only the senior employees worked 32 hours. The Family worked 40-plus overtime, in many cases. Senior employees were doing the labor work, while the Family were driving the equipment. I really believe that they wanted the senior employees to quit so the Family would move up in the line of flow.

When I told the Mayor and the Manager that I wanted to cut back, the Manager’s response was “We don’t have to lay off by seniority.” and the Mayor stated something to the effect “That’s right. Some of the employees don’t know how to finish cement.”

We all know that they went all the way to Tucson to hire his brother-in-law, because no one in this area knows how to finish cement. Oh, he is way down on the seniority list. Maybe that’s why they don’t want to lay off by seniority.

Funny thing, when I went down to the Town Hall to look at all the applicants that applied for employment with the Town of Mammoth, they couldn’t find them.

Why do they have laws against hiring family? Because, things will happen to violate people’s rights, just like they are happening here./s/ Joseph S. Brewer

Staff (613 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


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