May 23—The Baker City Council on Tuesday, May 24, will review a draft of the city's proposal to Baker County for continuing to provide ambulance service.
Councilors will meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St.
Baker County, which is responsible under Oregon law for choosing ambulance providers, recently sent out a request for proposals (RFP) for the Baker Ambulance Service Area.
The Baker City Fire Department is the current ambulance provider for that area, which includes Baker City and about two-thirds of the rest of the county.
The deadline to submit proposals is June 3.
On March 22 the City Council, after reviewing a report from City Manager Jonathan Cannon about the city's financial struggles to operate ambulances, voted to notify the county that the city intended to curtail ambulance service on Sept. 30, 2022.
Ending that service would cost the city about $1 million annual in ambulance revenue, and would force the city to lay off six firefighter/paramedics, reducing the department's overall staffing from 16.25 full-time equivalents to 10.5.
The March 22 notice prompted county commissioners to release the RFP, with a goal of finding a replacement ambulance service if the city follows through on the Sept. 30 timeline.
On May 10, after hearing from 18 residents who criticized the March 22 notice and urged the City Council to continue the ambulance service, councilors decided to send a response to the county's RFP.
Councilors discussed that response during a work session on May 11, and Cannon has been working on the draft version of the response that councilors will review Tuesday night.
Since the county released its RFP, a firefighter/paramedic has submitted a two-week notice that he plans to leave his position.
That follows the resignation of another firefighter/paramedic, Brian Johnson, in early April. A third position has been vacant for several months.
Cannon cited the staffing challenges in his weekly newsletter, released on Friday, May 20.
"I expected as we move towards the September 30 end date of the ambulance service, our staffing numbers would diminish, as staff appropriately look toward their own future and seek other employment," Cannon wrote. "With fewer paramedics and EMTs, our ability to maintain ambulance coverage will become increasingly difficult."
Baker City Fire Chief Sean Lee notified Baker County that the city fire department might have to delay responses to fire and ambulance calls due to a staffing shortage.
In a Tuesday, May 17, email to county commissioners and Jason Yencopal, the county's emergency management director, Lee wrote that "We are at the point that we will have to start staging the calls for service that we receive. We will be able to take the first call for service, but doubles and/or triples may have to wait until the crew can clear the first call. When we receive fire call and medical call simultaneously, we will have to triage the calls as they come and determine the greatest threat to life and property. My hope is that this will give you an opportunity to find a provider for the interim that will be able to maintain the existing level of service as is referenced in OAR 333-260-0070 (d)."
In the weekly newsletter, Cannon wrote that based on increases in call volumes — mostly for ambulances rather than fire calls — the city would need to hire three additional firefighters beyond replacing the three current vacancies.
"The union in 2021 requested that we hire three additional firefighters/paramedics," Cannon wrote. "Budget constraints did not allow for this to occur."
Casey Johnson, president of the firefighters' union, said recently that although he believes the city would need to hire more firefighter/paramedics in the future, he believes the city could continue to operate ambulances for at least the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, if the city filled the current vacancies.
In a staff report to councilors for Tuesday's meeting, Cannon wrote that as part of his draft proposal to the county's RFP, he will recommend how much the city would need in financial contributions from the county during the five-year contract that the county listed in the RFP.
County commissioners have offered to give the city $150,000 for the next fiscal year, an increase of $50,000 from the county's contribution for the current fiscal year.
Cannon is suggesting that councilors, after reviewing his draft proposal Tuesday, schedule another work session to discuss details of the proposal, and then schedule a special meeting to approve a final version of the proposal to submit to the county by the June 3 deadline.
If the county chooses the city fire department to continue operating ambulances, and the city and county sign a contract, the city would need to start a supplementary budget process, Cannon wrote in his report to councilors.
The current proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which the city's budget board has approved but which the City Council has not adopted, is based on the expectation that the city will cease ambulance service and lay off six firefighter/paramedics.
If the city continues to operate ambulances, those layoffs would not happen and the city would need to replace those positions in the budget prior to its adoption.
The deadline to adopt the budget is June 30, the last day of the current fiscal year.
The Kremlin-backed mayor of the Ukrainian town of Enerhodar was standing on his mother’s porch when a powerful blast struck, leaving him critically wounded. A week later, about 75 miles away, a car packed with explosives rocked the office of another Russian-appointed official in the occupied southern city of Melitopol. In a rarity, both Ukrainian and Russian officials confirmed the blasts, which struck deep inside Russian-controlled territory. And both explosions appeared to be the work of what
ALYONA MAZURENKO – MONDAY, 6 JUNE 2022, 21:01 Russian occupation forces have abandoned almost all checkpoints in the Melitopol district of Zaporizhzhia Oblast for fear of an attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Nearly 14 years after a Lee County girl was catastrophically injured when she was hit by a truck, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said Florida’s Medicaid program can recoup a chunk of the money it paid for her initial care.
House Republicans have repeatedly attacked the legitimacy of the January 6 select committee, which includes GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Stefanik's latest objection is that the planned night hearings fall outside congressional business hours.
A May 31 deposition by Trump's former executive assistant has led investigators to seek more records from the Trump Organization.
"Abbott has, time and again, opted to not only maintain but enhance a failed status quo," the San Antonio Express-News editorial board wrote
The percentage of Americans who say former President Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol dropped to 45 percent in an NBC News poll released on Monday. About 17 percent of respondents said the former president is solely responsible for the rioting, while 28 percent say he is mainly…
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Monday said the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has found evidence on former President Trump that supports “a lot more than incitement.” The comment from Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 panel, referenced Trump’s second impeachment in January 2021, when the House…
The Florida Supreme Court will allow the state to keep in place a redistricting map the critics say will likely […] The post Florida Supreme Court backs DeSantis, diluting 370,000 Black votes across 4 GOP-leaning districts appeared first on TheGrio.
Blake Masters also backs "replacement theory."
The coyote was later found dead, according to police.
It’s Monday, June 6, and interviews begin today for the next Supreme Court justice; there are two weeks left for prospective candidates to decide if they’re going to run for state office, and evidence is mounting that Florida’s governor has decided that policing “gender ideology” has emerged as a top state priority.
LEON NEALOne of Boris Johnson’s predecessors as Tory leader once described the Conservative Party as “an absolute monarchy moderated by regicide.” When the king or queen is no longer a winner, then out come the knives.Johnson, the tousle-headed Old Etonian classicist, narrowly survived his own ‘Et tu, Brute?’ moment on Monday after securing the votes of 211 of 359 Conservative lawmakers in a no-confidence vote triggered by backbench anger at his scandal-ridden leadership.“The result of the ballo
Elon Musk is almost everywhere. When it's not news about one of his multiple companies — Tesla , SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink — he posts about politics, geopolitical affairs, or engages with his millions of followers on a variety of topics, ranging from his states of mind to metaphysical questions such as happiness. For two months, since April to be precise, he has monopolized the headlines with his ongoing acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion.
Maj. Gen. Roman Kutuzov was killed, a Russian state-media journalist and Ukraine's military both said. Russia has not commented.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia stormed out of a U.N. Security Council meeting on Monday as European Council President Charles Michel addressed the 15-member body and accused Moscow of fueling a global food crisis with its invasion of Ukraine. Michel had also accused Russian troops of war crimes and crimes against humanity, specifically citing reports of sexual violence – the focus of the Security Council meeting – and describing it as "a tactic of torture, terror and repression."
Valentyna Romanko – Monday, 6 June 2022, 13:04 Petro Kuzyk. Photo by the Svoboda battalion Petro Kuzyk, the commander of the Svoboda battalion and captain of the National Guard of Ukraine claims that fierce street battles are currently underway in Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast.
Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg sparred with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Twitter Sunday, accusing her of “attacking survivors so you can fundraise.” Hogg, a co-founder of March For Our Lives, has been involved in organizing marches in Washington D.C. and in cities across the country following the mass shooting that left 19 students…
Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network/Wikimedia CommonsTech investor and Arizona Republican Senate hopeful Blake Masters acknowledges that the United States has a gun violence problem. But he also has a theory about why there’s a problem—it’s “Black people, frankly.”Masters boiled the issue down in an April 11 interview on the Jeff Oravits Show podcast, telling the host that “we do have a gun violence problem in this country, and it’s gang violence.”“It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each
DENYS KARLOVSKYI – SUNDAY, 5 JUNE 2022, 17:22 Ukrainian defenders have shown how their precision fire destroys Russian military equipment and vehicles in the eastern part of Sievierodonetsk. Source: 57th Separate Motorised Infantry Brigade named after Koshevoi Ataman (Cossack Commander) Kostia Hordiienko Quote: "Day 102.