Idaho fire department moves to dismiss ex-employee lawsuit
KUNA, Idaho (AP) — Idaho fire officials have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit by the department’s former assistant chief claiming he was fired for publicly opposing a proposed ambulance service fee.
An attorney representing the Kuna Rural Fire District filed the motion Dec. 9 saying former Assistant Chief Terry Gammel failed to state a claim in the original civil lawsuit, the Idaho Press reported Thursday.
Gammel sued the district, the former chief and the commissioners in federal court in October saying he believed he was fired for speaking out against the district’s proposed $1.1 million fee to fund ambulance services, officials said.
Voters opposed the fee in November 2018.
The district is the only agency in the county to provide its own emergency medical transport services because other agencies use the Ada County Paramedics’ services, Gammel said in his complaint.
He said taxpayer dollars fund the district’s services but also still fund the county’s services.
Department attorney David Gardner said “employment is presumptively ‘at-will’ and either party may end the relationship at any time without incurring liability” in Idaho.
Gammel never provided evidence to suggest his termination was anything other than at-will, Gardner said. Gammel’s claims that the district didn’t follow discipline and grievance policies don’t apply because he was never disciplined, Gardner said.
As a result, Gardner has filed to dismiss the lawsuit, officials said.