Back on February 9, we covered a story about Orcas Island Fire & Rescue (OIFR), which drew the ire of some usually supportive TH readers. They'll probably be mad at us again because of this post. As we reported back on February 9, many Orcasites have questions about the management of OIFR. There is no doubt that Orcas firefighters have behaved heroically in battling some very dangerous blazes, especially of late. But for many Orcasites, that heroism exists alongside questionable management decisions and behavior ... it exists alongside the alleged cover-up of a suspected DUI involving one of their own, Jack Delisle ... and it also seems to exist alongside a deepening siege mentality that lashes out at any critique.
Orcas Issues recently carried an editorial about the OIFR DUI controversy, which (along with other OIFR questions) is being brought into greater focus because of an upcoming vote about an OIFR levy. The old propane tank at the Country Corner, which serves as a makeshift Orcas community painting board for events, currently says "Vote no on the fire levy ... government accountability starts at home!"
Lord knows that Orcas has suffered more than its fair share of failed government accountability over the past few years ... the Charles Dalton situation, the Eastsound mosquito hatchery, floods in Eastsound, the Mt. Baker Road project, the Deer Harbor bridge ... and representation by electeds who seem hell bent on throwing us all under the CAO bus. If people are getting fed up, is it any wonder why?
Below is a recording of the report of the Delisle accident by OIFR Deputy Chief Mik Preysz (pronounced "price" for you non-Orcasites) to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office. The recording was obtained via a public records request. It's been making the rounds on Orcas ... people playing it for one another on their cell phones ... and passing it around via email too.
The call was logged at 3 a.m. on March 9, 2013. For context, you can refer to our original blog post from February 9, which includes the police report of the incident along with inserted questions of a commenter from Orcas. Note too that the police report doesn't seem to be entirely accurate with respect to the phone call from Preysz either.