2013-07-06 / Editorials & Letters

Finally they get upset!

It’s now been more than 10 months since The Beacon first exposed critical deficiencies in the Village of Buckeye Lake’s EMS services. After months of waiting, we finally heard some strong words from Buckeye Lake Village officials at the June 24 village council meeting. What finally woke up some of our elected officials?

• Did they finally read our August 15, 2012, report on the non-response to the critical injury on Dockside Drive? NO!

• Were they upset about the slow and small response (total of three people) to a ‘persons trapped’ fire on Worth Drive on May 23? NOPE!

• Maybe it was the 9:01 it took to get to an abdominal pain call on Union Avenue at 8:23 a.m. on Saturday, June 29 and the 6:13 delay to request assistance from Hebron? NO WAY! (That happened after the council meeting).

• Could it be the 9:57 it took to respond to an early morning sick person on June 24 at Buckeye Lake Estates? WRONG AGAIN!

• How about the nearly 17 minutes before any Buckeye Lake unit arrives at a June 20 fire with breathing problems at McDonalds? (Two Hebron units were there in less than three minutes). NO!

• Were they concerned about the 12:43 delay in requesting assistance from Hebron for a June 17 fall on East Street? ARE YOU KIDDING?

• Maybe it was the 16:20 it took to respond to a heart problems call on June 9 on Marsh Lane? THAT’S NOT IT!

• Could it be the 6:46 it took to respond to a heart problems call on Beacon Light Lane just before noon on Saturday, May 25? NOW, YOU’RE JUST GUESSING!

• How about the 13:13 delay to request assistance for a sick person on May 21 on Highland Avenue? WRONG AGAIN!

• Were they upset about the 4:58 delay in requesting mutual aid for a Leisure Village resident with chest pain on May 14 when the squad was still on another run? NO!

• Did they remember that the fire department hadn’t tested its ladders for nearly four years when annual tests are required? THE CHIEF IS JUST TOO BUSY!

NONE OF THE ABOVE is the correct answer. Council member Berry Herron was ‘infuriated’ and Council President Charlene Hayden asked, “How would you feel if your loved one died because…”

Herron’s rage and Hayden’s concern for your loved ones were prompted by Peggy Wells turning away a Buckeye Lake medic and requesting that Hebron transport her frail and fragile mother to the hospital on June 10. Wells asked for Hebron when she called 9-1-1, but was told by a Buckeye Lake Fire Department officer working there that she would have to first refuse Buckeye Lake before Hebron could be dispatched. That’s what she did and suddenly a couple of village officials finally got excited about EMS service.

Wells’ decision is perfectly understandable, particularly given the continuing comments/threats from some prominent fire department members about how it would be too bad if something happened to Wells, her property, or The Beacon. The comments June 24 and associated actions – passing around her mother’s EMS report and seeking the 9-1-1 Center tapes – substantiate her concerns. The department’s inaction, actions and our elected officials’ continuing failure to seriously address these critical deficiencies have quite naturally destroyed the department’s credibility and our trust in it. Hopefully, we won’t need EMS services at The Beacon. If we do, we will do the same as Wells did on June 10.

Both Hayden and Herron, by their comments June 24, view Patients 1st with contempt. That says all you need to know about their priorities. Their first priority is saving the Buckeye Lake Fire Department. Saving your life or that of a loved one isn’t as important! Demand they put Patients 1st!

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