Residents need to know both sides before board ‘destroys’ Mehlville fire district

Not long ago after 9/11, firefighters and paramedics were considered heroes for the services they perform and the dangers they face every day on the job. Aaron Hilmer and the rest of the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors are doing their best to tear down that distinction here in Mehlville.

This used to be one of the best fire districts in the state. But now, if you stop and talk to the firefighters, this district is in shambles.

Morale is low, and if they can find work in another district they will leave. The new hires are inexperienced because good qualified people won’t come here. Mr. Hilmer had to hire an outside medical consultant under the guise of giving better medical treatment for the district. This added expense wouldn’t be needed if he would hire well-trained, experienced EMTs.

Mr. Hilmer has no problem saving money when it comes at the expense of the firefighters and paramedics that make up the MFPD. But he’ll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire outside consultants to investigate so-called problems that no one seems to be willing to explain to the taxpayers. He says he still has a couple more rocks to look under. I think he needs to start at the one he crawled out from under.

As far as the tax-rate decreases Mr. Hilmer wants so badly, I would rather pay the few extra cents and know that I’m being protected by happy and experienced firefighters. People really need to know both sides of this ongoing dispute before this Board of Directors destroys this entire fire district.

Don Benson

Oakville