Editor’s note: This letter to the editor exceeds the standard 300-word limit, but given the topic and its impact on Mason County, we are publishing it in its entirety.
Many of us will need ambulance service. Sometimes, however, the quality of the service is substandard.
Last winter, my wife was seriously ill. I called 911 to send an ambulance to take her to the hospital. A short time later we received a phone call with someone stating the ambulance driver would not come to pick her up. A few minutes later some members of the Point Pleasant Fire Department came up on the hill where we live, accompanied by the ambulance people. The ambulance people explained that the road was impassable and they could not make it up the driveway. After some discussion about the situation, one of the members of the fire department stated that he would bring the ambulance up the hill, which he proceeded to do. They then loaded her into the ambulance and took her to the hospital.
When we reached the hospital I talked to another couple from the Leon area who had experienced an almost identical situation. Some of the employees at the hospital said this type of occurrence was commonplace.
If this is the kind of service we are to expect from EMS, we should not support the levy. However, this can be remedied by purchasing at least one, new four-wheel drive ambulance. New ambulances were purchased last year but neither one was four-wheel drive. This can only be attributed to poor management on the part of EMS.
Mason County is well over 50 percent rural. We don’t all live on paved city streets. Also, some of the ambulance drivers need more training on how to property drive an ambulance.
Before election day we must demand a public statement from the county commission that these needs will be addressed, especially the purchase of the four-wheel drive ambulances. If these concerns cannot be met then the EMS should do what we as individuals do when we have a reduction in income – tighten our belts. Please help us, citizens of Mason County. Only vote yes for the levy if we are guaranteed a four-wheel drive ambulance. It’s your money. It’s your vote.
Bob and Jo Ann Watterson