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LibbyMt.com > News > May 2012 > Fire Districts file brief

Fire Districts file brief
by Duane Williams, KLCB-KTNY Radio
May 24, 2012

Bull Lake Fire District and Cabinet View Fire Service Area have filed a brief in opposition to respondents 'motion for partial summary judgment and petitioners' cross-motion for partial summary judgment and brief in support in Nineteenth District Court.

In the brief, Cabinet View Fire Service Area’s attorney, Kim Christopherson, argues Lincoln County, Roby Bowe, in his capacity as Lincoln County Sheriff and Director of the Libby Public Service Answering Point, Troy Area Dispatch Board, Libby Volunteer Fire Department, Libby Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc., and Troy Volunteer Ambulance, both Montana Public Benefit Corporations, motion for partial summary judgment should be denied, and Bull Lake and Cabinet Views’ Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment should be granted.

According to the brief, The Board of Trustees of the Cabinet View FSA, has the power and authority of State statute to change or expand the kinds, types, or levels of emergency services it provides within its jurisdiction, and to otherwise operate the FSA without seeking permission or approval of the board of county commissioners.

In addition, contends the brief, the Public Service Answering Point (aka Dispatch) in Libby has no discretion regarding the immediate direct dispatch of Cabinet View Volunteer Fire Department to calls for emergency services in their FSA. The law requires the Libby Dispatch to notify CVFD for all calls for services in its jurisdiction. A public safety agency with jurisdictional responsibilities must in all cases be notified by Dispatch of a request for service in the agency's jurisdiction. The Montana statutes concerning emergency telephone system plans clearly establish that the Public Service Answering Point will immediately dispatch the appropriate service provider or that the call for the emergency services immediately will be relayed or transferred to the appropriate public or private safety agency.

Finally, asserts the brief, a contract between Libby Volunteer Fire Department and Libby Volunteer Ambulance does not supersede or otherwise impact the right of Cabinet View Volunteer Fire Department, as the provider of emergency services in the FSA, to be dispatched to all calls for emergency services in its jurisdiction, and to the extent that the contract attempts to effect such an impact, the contract is void.

The brief goes on to challenge assertions to attempt to distract the Court's attention with significant amounts of extraneous information. Statements about "being concerned" that CVFD personnel are "not properly trained, equipped, or experienced" to provide services other than "structural fire protection". The concerns about CVFD personnel providing inappropriate treatment or omitting appropriate treatment is unfounded, says Christopherson. CVFD has several volunteers with EMT licenses at the levels of EMT-First Responder or EMT-Basic, or both, with several of the volunteers being licensed not only through the Montana State of Medical Examiners, but also through the National Emergency Medical Technician Registry. Each one of CVFD EMTs have received the same training, passed the same tests, and received the same licenses as those LVA EMTs licensed at the same level.

The firestorm involving the Cabinet View Fire Service Area continues to flame.

By Duane Williams, KLCB-KTNY Radio, www.todaysbestcountryonline.com e-mail: klcb@frontiernet.net.

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