Bill Hineser, DPM — Candidate for the Arvada Fire Protection District Board
11780 W 66th Pl, Arvada, CO 80004
1.Why are you running for the fire board?
See answer #3 below.
2. What skills do you bring that will help you govern the Arvada Fire District effectively?
AS 76% of the calls the department answers are medical I feel my experience as a podiatric physician (foot and ankle surgeon) will add a layer of expertise the board does not currently have. I bring a perspective that includes not only a knowledge of medicine, but a knowledge of HIPPA, OSHA, Medicare, Medicaid, medical billing and other aspects that will help us make better decisions in these areas.
As a past president of our State Podiatric Medical Association, 3 term member of the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, 10 year consultant to Medicare, former president of a hospital Independent Physicians Association, and Chief of my department at 3 hospitals I bring both medical knowledge and managerial skills.
Also I have had a securities license, and insurance license which I obtained for my own education.
I have also spent several terms as president of my homeowners association which I feel is one of the most responsive and fair associations in the area.
3. What are the biggest challenges you see facing the Arvada Fire District?
See answer to question #6 below.
4. How does the configuration of Ralston Road impact the level of service that the Arvada Fire District can provide?
I don’t know how this configuration got approved but it is an accident waiting to happen. At this point changing the configuration would be a massive undertaking. I would be in favor of plans to eventually change parts of this road.
5. Do you think that the benefits to the community out weighs the costs of having our own ambulance service.
See question #3 below for more information as well.
Initially I was against providing a service that was already handled by private business. But I personally had problems with Pride Mark and the subsequent companies that purchased them. I felt they had some poor billing practices which were harming seniors (one of the main users of the service) and the relationship with the hospitals was predatory.
I was able to get the ambulance policy changed at Lutheran Hospital saving citizens thousands of dollars a year by better utilization of the services to return patients to their homes.
Currently the ambulance service of the AFD is making money for the city and department. Policies are being established to save citizens money on the services while still making a profit. We will need to work with Medicare/Caid to be certain we do not violate National and State Laws while doing this.
If so, please explain the trade-off between the added cost and new services being provided.
Currently the service is not an added cost.
If not, how will you approach liquidating the Ambulances that were purchased and reducing the Arvada Fire District staff?
As the service is operating at a profit I would not consider liquidating it at this time.
However we now have potentially bigger problem as the department contemplates getting into Community Medicine to provide home services after an ambulance visit. This could be a real can of worms for us regarding billing and follow-up of patients.
6. Did you support the last ballot measure that would have removed term limits for Arvada Fire Board Members?
No, I am a firm believer in term limits. 8 years on the board is sufficient to have an impact on the function of the department and provide input. This can be a double edged sword when you have a very productive member. But the benefits outweigh the deficits in these situations. By staggering the terms we do retain the institutional memory that is important to long term function of the board.
7. Did you support the 55% mill-levy increase in 2010? Members?
Initially I did not support the mill levy. However after visiting every fire station and facility that the AFD has I am impressed with what has been done with the money and how well it has been spent. The equipment, high level personnel, availability to the public and excellent service and protection have proven this to be a good use of our money and resources.
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Answers to questions for Chamber Arvada of Commerce
1. Your Name: William (Bill) Hineser
2. Current Employment, Activities, Board Seats, Community Involvement (Please just least organizations/companies, not detailed information on roles, etc.):
I am currently retired from the practice of Podiatric Medicine. I practiced here in Arvada and the west side of Jefferson County for over 42 years as a board certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon.
I am on the board of directors of the Colorado Foot and Ankle Society and have served as president in the past. I also served 3 terms of the Board of Medical Examiners. I am currently president of my homeowners association.
During the Harvest Festival I am one of the announcers along the parade route.
Past member of local Optimist Club, Current member Arvada Elks Club and past trustee.
3. Why are you interested in serving on the Arvada Fire District Board? (LIMITED TO 150 WORDS OR LESS):
I became especially interested in the fire department during the time they were establishing the ambulance service. I was unhappy with the business practices of Pridemark and the way patient transfers were handled from the hospital. As a result I was able to get the ambulance policy changed at Lutheran Hospital.
After that experience I became interested in the activities of the Department and the services provided. I have gotten to know board members and toured the department facilities. Police and Fire are two the most integrated services in our community and I feel we have one of the best Fire Departments in the country.
As 76% of the fire department calls are medical I feel my medical experience will be very valuable to the board and the department. Currently there are no other members of the board or persons seeking the position with physician experience.
Though I have always been interested and involve since I retired I have found that I have a lot more time to become involved in the community and community activities and now I am able to pursue them more fully.
4. What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the Board? (LIMITED TO 150 WORDS OR LESS):
First I intend to see that the high quality of service and standards of the department are maintained and continually improved. The department may move into community medicine and I intend to see that this is properly done, if implemented.
The department has started an outreach program to independent and assisted living facilities and I would like to see this expanded. Also, community education increased to cut down on the number of service calls that could have been avoided.
There is work to be done with builders in communities that are expanding, and which will require service, where financial support must be obtained to support expansion of the department.
I would like to see the police and fire department fully integrated to work together in situations where there are wounded needing attention when under fire.
Continue the path of excellence the department has shown.
5. What impacts do you think you can make on the business community through this role? (LIMITED TO 150 WORDS OR LESS):
The biggest impact the department has on the business community is safety. As our community expands and changes it is important that the department stay current with all development in order to enable these services to be promptly delivered.
By maintaining a top notch department we can use this as a selling point to entice business into the city.
The department needs to be user friendly when working with businesses on compliance with fire codes.
Most importantly I intend to see good stewardship of tax dollars. The $23 million plus budget and $1.2 billion dollar net worth of the department is a serious responsibility.
6. What do you see as the top three challenges facing the district in the next 5 years? (LIMITED TO 150 WORDS OR LESS)
The top challenge will be expansion into the new communities. This has to be handled very carefully and with the support of the builders of these communities.
Next it is important to maintain full staffing of emergency vehicles, especially during any expansion. Currently the trucks and engines have four personnel, and this should be maintained. Other communities have had to cut back the number of persons supporting their vehicles and this can create dangerous situations.
Third the department has limited funds and they must be carefully controlled by making good decisions regarding any spending and expansion. Maintaining top of the line personnel and equipment are critical.
If the expansion to community medicine is made it must be done in the same cost effective way the ambulance service was incorporated.
7. Please attach a current photo of yourself to use in the email-
It is attached.