LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:   Understand importance of ambulance service

To the editor:

I have read numerous times how changes are being considered to EMS. The latest issue before county commission is whether to eliminate emergency medical dispatch to cut expenses.

I am an AEMT with Hillsboro ambulance, and my husband and I are first responders for Goessel. At this time, there are dozens of people in our county who respond to emergencies, not only in their communities, but also neighboring communities as volunteers for EMS and fire departments.

We in EMS are definitely not doing this for the money. Our wages are public because we work for the county. First responders are paid by the call. On-call is $2 per hour and paid for each call.

We do our jobs for our neighbors because we feel it is important and necessary. We respond all hours of day and night in all types of weather. Some of us are blessed to have employers who allow us to be on-call while at work.

I understand budgets are important to our county. Law enforcement, road and bridge, courthouse employees, 911, fuel and maintenance of county vehicles, emergency management, and, yes, county commissioners all have to deal with budgets.

The federal government mandates EMS services are provided by each county. EMS is the only county department that generates part of its funding. If anyone appreciates local EMS in their community and would like to keep it, please contact your county commissioner and tell them so.

Sue Wadkins, Goessel

 

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