To the editor:

At a recent city council meeting, a bill was submitted to the council from the Spring Valley Area Ambulance Association for payment of an emergency medical responder refresher class that was given to the Spring Valley Fire Department in February. At the council meeting, payment of the bill was discussed and the council requested that the ambulance association be asked to reconsider the bill either as a donation or to make some adjustment to the cost. In past years, the class fee was either budgeted for by the fire department or the fire department had received grant money for the refresher course. It should also be noted that the ambulance association was not asked to donate its time, resources nor instructors fees in advance of the class, nor did we have any idea that the fire department did not budget for the expense nor did they receive grants for the course. The association was simply following the same procedure it follows for the classes that it provides for EMTs, first responders in Spring Valley and for the surrounding areas and there has never been a problem.

The association billed out the course as we normally do as we were not aware there might be a problem with paying for it. At our meeting on Tuesday, April 1, discussion was held on how to handle the council's request to reconsider the bill. The discussion revolved around the excellent working relations the ambulance service and the fire department have had for many years. Both organizations have helped each other on numerous occasions and have responded to requests for help without hesitation or reservation. It was also discussed that each organization provides safety support for each other with the fire department responsible for scene safety at accident scenes and the ambulance service providing rehabilitation services for fire fighters at fire scenes. It was felt that we needed to do all we could to continue to foster this good relationship.

It was decided that even though we had already paid our instructors for their time and had incurred the cost for course materials and supplies, we could forego payment of the bill and consider the course as a donation. The association had only wished this matter could have been handled in a different manner as it may have cast the ambulance association in a negative light.

Jim Cooper

Spring Valley Area Ambulance Association