OPINION

City must prioritize public safety, fix ambulance service

To the editor:

I am currently a firefighter/EMT with the Fairfield Fire Department and have significant concerns about emergency care in Jefferson County.

Our current situation is an expiring ambulance contract that has not served in the best interest of Fairfield and Jefferson County. Over the past year, members of the fire department have worked alongside the county to find a viable option. We pursued the required training, and attempted to deal with our community leaders on providing an option that is both cost-effective and provides the best level of care.

Despite several meetings where a seemingly self-sustainable option was proposed, our current city administrator has indicated that the city has no interest in looking into providing a different service. The message that has been echoed by all city officials is that any option has to be “budget neutral.”

After recently spending roughly $80,000 on flower nodes on the square, the city is now considering changing the direction of traffic on the square, which will require all of the nodes to be removed and replaced on top of any other traffic control devices and striping.

As recently as two years ago, we spent $4 million to build a state-of-the-art outdoor pool facility, when we could have significantly reduced our costs by updating the old outdoor pool. With frivolous and irresponsible spending such as this, it begs the question, “Where do the priorities lie with our city’s current leadership?”

When public safety takes a back seat to the city’s beautification projects, I believe a change is in order. If you agree that public safety shouldn’t take a back seat to changing the direction of the traffic or the flower pots on the square, I encourage you to reach out to your local representative and voice your concerns.

- Justin Bonnett, Fairfield