Letters (Dec. 11, 2013)

Appreciate EMS?

Tell commissioner

I would like to address the issue of the future of Marion County Emergency Medical Services. I have read numerous times how changes are being considered. The latest issue before the county commissioners has been whether to eliminate emergency medical dispatch as a way to cut expenses.

I am an advanced emergency medical technician with Hillsboro Ambulance, and my husband, Michael, and I are also first responders for the city of Goessel. At this time there are dozens of people in our county who response to emergencies not only in their communities, but neighboring communities, as volunteers for EMS and fire departments.

We in EMS are definitely not doing this job ?for the money.? Our wages are public because we work for Marion County. First reponders 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 our jobs are important and necessary. We respond all hours of the day and night and in all types of weather. Some of us are blessed to have employers who allow us to be on call while at work. A huge thank-you to those employers!

EMS personnel take classes as required to improve their skills and comply with the Kansas Board of EMS. We don?t do our jobs for an atta-boy or a pat on the back. We do our jobs like everyone else.

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

The federal government National Highway Traffic Safety Agency mandates EMS service are to be provided by each county in Kansas. Marion County EMS is the only county department that generates part of its budgetary funding.

If anyone appreciates local EMS in their community, and would like to keep it, please contact your county commissioner and tell him so.

Sue Wadkins

Hillsboro/Goessel

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