Reno, Washoe County and Northern Nevada are in the midst of a potentially dangerous power struggle between local governments, individual politicians, regional fire departments and a local privatized ambulance service that has had health impacts to the local citizenry. Two recent incidents with the Reno fire department, REMSA (a privatized ambulance service contracted by the city of Reno) and the fire department of Washoe County. The reason these scenarios keep popping up are numerous and include personality conflicts, contract negotiations, old rivalries and more. In 2010, Washoe County and Reno ended their mutual aid agreements over reimbursement issues. The city of Reno and the Reno fire department have been in contentious negotiations over staffing reductions after the city lost out on a federal grant that funded over 30 full-time fire fighter positions. After the layoffs were announced, the fire department sued the city of Reno to halt the layoffs. This suit inspired some Reno elected officials to attack the fire department’s union for things said during contract negotiations. In addition, it’s suspected that a Reno city employee has been anonymously leaking divisive contract points to local newspapers.
One of the incidents occurred when the Reno fire department refused to assist REMSA and the Reno Police department when a 300 lb man who was over six feet tall had become trapped in a boat he owned. The Reno police department first found the suffering man, and through dispatch called REMSA. When REMSA arrived, realizing they were unable to move the man from the boat, REMSA called the Reno fire department to assist. Knowing that REMSA had taken the previous call, the Reno fire department refused to respond to the call. The gentleman who was in the boat who was suffering from pulmonary edema, could have died in the hours it took for REMSA and the police department to determine how to move the man. If you or a family member has been hurt or killed by in a Reno personal injury case, contact Benson and Bingham today.
The second incident occurred when the Washoe County fire department ignored a call for help from the Boomtown Casino Resort. Someone staying at the casino was in the middle of a heart attack. The fire department closest to the Boomtown casino was a Washoe County station and unfortunately, since Boomtown resort is on city land, the individual suffering from the heart attack had to wait for a city fire department ambulance arrive. If you or a family member has been injured in Washoe County, Benson and Bingham can help you to recover money spent on hospital bills, lost work and more.