The original plan to merge San Juan Island EMS and San Juan Island Fire and Rescue would have cut costs and improved operations, but has fallen by the wayside as the commissioners of both agencies have failed to work together to achieve this goal.
Our Public Hospital District lost over half its volunteer EMT’s, and after failing to find a qualified candidate for EMS Operations Director, appointed another administrator with no EMS training or experience.
The current PHD/EMS Levy expires in two years, and it will take 18 months to write and pass a new levy. SJIFR has a permanent levy but needs additional revenue to expand its EMS operations.
Merging SJIEMS into SJIFR would enable the PHD to continue monitoring its PeaceHealth contract and take on its new role of restoring long-term care; thereby allowing both agencies to realize the benefits of the merger.
It’s time for both boards to do their duty and restructure their agencies to keep our community safe and healthy
Loren Johnson, MD