You haven’t read much about trustees Colleen Carnine and Peggy Foster on this blog because we have been focusing on the verbal front for the board, Dave McKee and Mike Conn. But they are very active members of the board as well. Ms. Carnine submitted the information about the fire department that you may have received via email from the BCPOA a short time ago, so you might want to direct these questions about what was said in the email to her.
What was wrong, in your view, with allowing Chief Astrom to return temporarily as chief and allow him to participate in the mediation process?
Are two of the six well-trained firefighters you are referring to Dennis Guentzel and Dave McKee? If so, when did they last attend a training session? Are their skills and knowledge current? Has their knowledge been tested to establish their current skill level as was the standard procedure under Chief Astrom for firefighters returning after a long absence?
If Dennis Guentzel, Dave McKee, and Mike Conn are all on the fire department, every time they meet to train or respond to an emergency call together would constitute a quorum of the board, requiring public notification wouldn’t it? How is that to be handled?
How many of these six firefighters have agreed to don an SCBA (breathing apparatus) and go into a burning building to rescue someone? When was the last time they climbed a ladder with an SCBA and full gear to train for such maneuvers?
What’s the average age of the six firefighters? Have the three that are over 60 years old had their annual required physical as required before even participating in training is allowed?
What is your training schedule going to be like for new recruits? Will it require the same 40 hours minimum training and sequence of proficiency tests before pagers are issued, or will there be a fast track process implemented? If there is a fast track process how well trained will they be?
If the response time is so good by AMR and Bozeman Fire why are we bothering to have a fire station in the canyon at all? Bozeman Fire Department is full of highly trained professional full-time firefighters, with more constant training and continual experience than any volunteers can ever acquire. Why don’t we just rely on them to provide all our protective services? Why bother to train BCFD firefighters in medical skills when AMR is on scene so quickly anyway?
Who is the returning Medical Training Officer? What certifications do they have and are they all up to date? Or maybe that doesn’t matter since AMR is first on scene most of the time anyway.
What happens when our mutual aid partners are too busy on their own calls to respond to Bridger Canyon? What happens when they decide they aren’t providing mutual aid, only unilateral aid? Do they rescind their agreement with BCFD then?
You have painted a good face on all this, but the reality is there is not going to be just “minimal or no degradation” in service to the district. At some point in the future, after you amass a force with a similar number of decades of combined experience and service as those firefighter you just drove out, the same level of service that existed until this week may be regained. But for some time people are going to be left lacking protection, all for the sake of satisfying whatever petty grudge you have been pinging away at Chief Astrom on for far too long and for the treatment the firefighters received for calling baloney on all your retribution efforts.