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August 21 07:58 PM
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EMS director offers kudos to community


Dear Editor,

Given the weather conditions this past month, particularly the past few days, EMS calls have been exceptionally challenging given that we have not been able to get in driveways, and have been stuck on different occasions, and on more than one occasion have not been able to get down a particular road due to ice and or snow.

These situations add a lot of extra stress to an already stressful situation, possibly life or death situations.

While these situations are very stressful and frustrating to our staff, there are also many different individuals out there who have helped our staff in many different ways. Some of you have actually plowed driveways for us to get to someone sick or injured, some have plowed roadways, and some have helped carry patients through several feet of snow, which can be quite a chore when in a life or death situation.

Many of you, being First Responders, have helped with patient care until the ambulance could get there, which you do every day, but which is doubly important when it takes an ambulance longer to get to a scene due to extreme weather conditions.

There are police officers and firefighters who have many times driven our ambulances to the hospital so that we could have more than one set of hands in the back of the ambulance to help our patient.

Our road commission and their employees are also to be commended for their help and the many long hours they put in trying to maintain our roads and keep them passable, which is seemingly a losing battle at times.

There are also wrecker drivers out there who have helped us more than once in many different situations. Many times we have had them tug us out of a ditch when the ambulance slid sideways or we simply misjudged where we were due to mud, snow or whatever, and they have done it willingly and at times at no charge to Lapeer County EMS.

And to our "lifeline," those of you who work at 911-Central Dispatch, you are to be commended as well. Those of us who work in emergency services realize what a vital part 911 dispatchers are in what we do; but I don't think the general public always realize how lucky they are to have this service available to every resident in Lapeer County.

I have worked in all three emergency services, police, fire and EMS being the longest since 1977, which was long before 911. Some of you who have been in emergency services realize how much better things are than they were back then, and those of you who are too young not to know life before 911, have no idea how much better off we are now than back in the "old days."

Those of us who work in emergency services know that the 911 dispatchers are always there if we need them, and they are looking out for our well being. Those of you who do not work in emergency services can rest assured as well that if you ever have need of a police officer, a fire department, an ambulance, or many other services, they will be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with that need.

To all of you, who have helped Lapeer County EMS in any way, any time, and I will not try to name you all because I don't want to forget anyone, you all know who you are; I want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH from myself and all of our Emergency Medical Technicians.

We may not always say "thank you" due to the situation at hand, but please know that we do appreciate all that you do to help us. And even more, the patients that we help in the process are the most appreciative.

Again, a big 'Thank You' to one and all.

Galland Burnham, Executive Director, Lapeer County EMS
February 27, 2008

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