Although I have made a comment or two on ibrattleboro.com decrying the autocratic manner of selectboard members (we make the decisions, we don’t have to explain), I have been reluctant to speak out about the EMS controversy as I have not made a truly serious effort to become informed. After watching the September 12 EMS forum, I still do not feel capable of analysing which choice is better; but on a gut-feeling basis, I do not trust the Dog-And-Pony-Show put on by Town leadership. A “consensus” of 11 Town employees concerned with their jobs reciting matching opinions, is hardly a genuine consensus.
Still, I wondered what if they are right and EMS run by the fire department actually would be better?
What broke the spell for me was that one of the arguments against Rescue (that a study showed a much better response time for the fire department) turned out to be bogus. Subsequent to that argument having been made; in refutation, someone explained that the longer response time for Rescue was for all of the towns the Rescue serves throughout the county, but that measuring the response time only for Brattleboro for a fair comparison, it turns out that response time for Rescue and for the Fire Department are about the same.
Having heard such a self-serving half-truth, how can I trust anything Town leadership says to promote their sales job? Not one of the eleven staff members on the dias knew the truth and could have made a correction? Not the town manager, nor the assistant town manager? I have had a positive relationship with Patrick for over 25 years. I recently corresponded with our new town manager, and I was gratified to find him gracious and intelligent. I like him alot, even though I now find it hard to trust him on EMS. Putting aside personalities: It is hard not to mistrust the entire story when a deception was permitted to stand, uncorrected.
My life, or the life of someone I care about may depend on the decision. How can I not feel distress at this self-serving deception?