By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,500)
The Portland Fire Department is taking the Munjoy Hill ambulance out of service once again tonight beginning at 8:00 pm until tomorrow Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 8:00 am. This information comes despite assurances from the city that there would be no more “brown-outs” of ambulance service on the Hill.
The City had assured the public there would be no more shutdowns of the ambulance service on the Hill because of the hiring of 12 new recruits. However, that promise appears to be an empty one based on tonight’s shutdown.
On Thanksgiving Day, when the city was closed and could not be contacted, an informal sign appeared in front of the ambulance bay of the Munjoy Hill fire department saying the bay was shut down per orders from the city government. This blogger wrote three emails to the city requesting more information on this, but they were never answered. Several phone calls to Acting Fire Chief David Jackson about the situation have also gone unanswered.
The sign was ordered down by Acting Chief David Jackson.
In the interim, City Manager Jon Jennings has called the behavior of the Munjoy HIll Fire Department “childish” and warned of possible repercussions for the Fire Department through the “Portland Press Herald” – the city’s ‘ media outlet of choice’ to the public. Jennings has made other public statement not always well received by the public and making him a controversial figure at city hall.
When the ambulance is taken out of service for one night, like tonight, the EMS capability is reduced by 20%. If the police department decided to take six officers out of service tonight,would that be noteworthy? Would the “Portland Press Herald” be critical of the reduction? You bet it would. Wolud the public be outraged? You bet it would.
Why? What are they hiding? Why doesn’t the city want the public to know what’s going on up here? Why don’t they respond to my requests for more information?
Shouldn’t tax payers have a right to know how their money is spent or not spent – especially when it comes to safety and health issues?