Kern County 4th District Candidates Face Tough Questions on Ambulance and Paramedic Services (watch the video)

  • Kern County Fourth District Supervisor Ray Watson responds to a question about why Kern County has not provided adequate emergency medical services to rural county areas by saying in other counties these services are financed through assessments to the property owners.

    Kern County Fourth District Supervisor Ray Watson responds to a question about why Kern County has not provided adequate emergency medical services to rural county areas by saying in other counties these services are financed through assessments to the property owners.

FRAZIER PARK, CALIFORNIA; 5:20 p.m., February 9 — Three candidates vying for Kern County Supervisor Ray Watson’s seat in the fourth district faced a crowd of unhappy Pine Mountain residents demanding to know why the county has allowed Hall Ambulance Service to leave them without adequate emergency medical response service.

Candidate Jeff Biggar, who recently filed at the Registrar of Elections to enter the race, decided after 30 minutes that he was "out-matched" running against the incumbent supervisor and a city councilman from Taft. Biggar told the crowd he was sorry for wasting their time, got up and left the forum. Biggar has, presumably, bowed out of the race for supervisor.

WATCH VIDEO CLIPS OF THE TOWN HALL MEETING FROM FRIDAY EVENING, FEB. 8.

PUSH THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW TO START THE VIDEO CLIP OF YOUR CHOICE.

Clip 1 (below) - Candidates introduce themselves.

Clip 2 (below) – Residents question Supervisor Ray Watson on ambulance and paramedic services; Cliff Thompson holds up Kern County Fire Department’s proposal for a firefighter paramedic pilot program to begin in Pine Mountain at no cost for one year. Watson says other counties assess residents to pay for paramedic services.

Clip 3 (below) – Residents say Kern County puts money above human lives. Cliff Thompson answers question of what changes he would make. Candidate Jeff Biggar says he is out-matched by his opponents and he steps out of the race for Kern County 4th District Supervisor. Watson is asked what services are other Kern County residents getting that Pine Mountain residents are not.

Clip 4 (below) – Supervisor Ray Watson itemizes county services to the Mountain Communitites. Can tax monies be used to provide county paramedic services? Ross Elliott’s recommendation against county paramedics. Inclusion of firefighters’ "Free one-year trial" proposal at Tuesday, Feb. 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Clip 5 (below) – Cliff Thompson answers question about what he would do to get paramedics for Pine Mountain. Watson addresses the Jan. 24 incident in which a Hall Ambulance unit failed to reach Pine Mountain for transport of an injured resident. KCFD responds to question about snow chains on emergency vehicles.

Clip 6 (below) – When will the Pine Mountain fire station construction begin? What is to be done with the $700,000 of CSA-40 money? Cliff Thompson suggests Board of Supervisors and EMS change Hall Ambulance contract. Questions about conflicts of interest with Hall Ambulance owner being mayor of Bakersfield.

Clip 7 (below) – Why is the fire station plan taking so long? What would Cliff Thompson do for Pine Mountain that is not being done now? What would Ray Watson do for the Mountain Communities? Thompson raises air quality problems.

Clip 8 (below) – What is the tax base of Pine Mountain compared to Frazier Park? Cell phone service questions. What has Ray Watson done for the community?

Clip 9 (below) – Further tax base question. Why does Board of Supervisors have no outrage over lack of performance by Hall Ambulance? What is done when county officials are found lying? Public records access. Communication between county and Mountain Communities.

Clip 10 (below) – Frazier Park Beautification (Streetscape) project.

This is part of the February 08, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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