West Shore ambulance service not settled
Residents of the West Shore of Lake Tahoe have an emergency on their hands – or at least they will, if something isn’t done soon.
On Tuesday, Fifth District Supervisor Dave Solaro spearheaded the creation of a citizens committee to explore ambulance service options to the West Shore.
The ambulance dilemma was one of the main items on the agenda at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting at Tahoe Paradise Park on Tuesday.
Currently, the communities of Meeks Bay, Rubicon and Tahoma are under service with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. But NTFPD is raising its fees in June – from $38,000 per year to $113,000.
If West Shore residents decide they want to keep NTFPD, they must somehow come up with the money. One idea is a sales tax, which would go before voters in June. Another option is increased parcel fees. Or, West Shore communities could contract with Lake Tahoe Ambulance in South Shore.
“Contracting with South Lake Tahoe is not really not an option for us,” said Edward Miller, president of the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District Board of Directors. “There are distance and weather concerns. You can’t say to people who call 911 that it’s going to take two hours for an ambulance to get there.”
Solaro and Second District Supervisor Ray Nutting will be working with West Shore communities to plan their next move.
“Ultimately it will be up to these communities as to what the final outcome will be,” Solaro said. “But we’re here to help.”
Solaro indicated that one solution could be for a contract with South Lake Tahoe for ambulance service, using NTFPD as a backup during times when the roads are closed due to snow.
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