EVERETT, Wash. - Sources in the Everett Fire Department tell KIRO7 one homeless man is such a problem he's cost taxpayers a million dollars. In July three firefighters dumped that homeless man under a bridge near city limits after responding to a 911 call and determining he needed no medical assistance.
The fire department reprimanded the captain and the other two firefighters for the July incident but they say they had been called out to respond to this one man alone hundreds of times, and he is hospitalized and then back on the street within hours. Many say it’s a waste of their resources and your tax dollars.
"We try not to be overcome with frustration. We certainly try to be very patient with our patients and we are,” explained Rick Robinson a fire marshal and spokesperson with the department.
Robinson says one of those patients had been treated by firefighters many times -- Each time he's hospitalized and back on the street in hours. That’s why the three firefighters said when they found him passed out drunk July 1, they drove him away from what they said was the public eye and left him with two water bottles.
"What they should have done is to assess his condition and if they could help him in some way just help him,” Robinson said of what proper procedure would have been.
He is not alone -- Everett fire is forced to respond to all 911 calls, even frequent fliers.
"It's an unfortunate situation,” said Cate Harrington, who lives in Everett.
Harrington says Everett's homeless population is out of control and there aren't enough services. She says they brought drugs and weapons into her favorite city park.
"My children can't even walk six blocks to the school, to the park, to work -- because they're being accosted,” Harrington told us.
So she and another mother recruited volunteers for a sweep of Clark Park last week.
"They threatened to bash our heads into the concrete, they were calling us lewd names.” But, she said, "It’s been clean ever since.”