2013-09-21 / Editorials & Letters

Where do mayorial candidates stand

Editor:

Shortly after midnight on July 4, my husband was in a life-threatening situation. When my daughter called 9-1-1, she told them her Dad couldn’t breathe and requested Millersport. We reasoned that with Buckeye Lake Fire Department one never knows if a paramedic is on duty as opposed to our mutual aid provider, Millersport, that has at least one paramedic on duty 24/7.

I understand that 9-1-1’s procedure is to dispatch your local department. So Buckeye Lake (with no paramedic) arrived after calling off Millersport enroute with a paramedic.

Even though we appreciated the care of Chris Farmer and Mandie Marquart, we were shocked to learn that Buckeye Lake stopped Millersport’s paramedic from helping my husband. What if he had arrested and required treatment that only a paramedic can provide? This could have been very tragic.

I am very concerned about how our fire department is compromised by incompetent leadership, both in the department and village government.

I read in the June 15 Beacon that Safety Committee Chair Clay Carroll didn’t want to enter into any contractual commitments with any outside entities, but administrators and council should continue to monitor and work with the department to maintain and improve services when possible. Council agreed. “One hundred percent of council was in support,” said Mayor Baker. “That says something!”

Yes it does, but I bet what it says to Mayor Baker is not the same thing it says to me. For example, the record shows that on July 26, no one on station until the evening - another no-show and no replacement. What was done, by whom and when?

The contractual commitment Clay Carroll was referring to is a proposal from the Village of Hebron to provide 24/7 EMS service to Buckeye Lake for $110,700 a year which is much less than what we are currently spending. Hebron would be responsible for our EMS runs using their equipment, supplies, gasoline and most importantly we would be assured that competent people are on the job 24/7. They always have at least one paramedic on duty. To me, it’s a nobrainer. It’s time to stop this ‘Forest Gump box of chocolates’ approach where you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s an empty box!

Our village officials have had over a year to fix this. Even with the mayor’s handpicked task force whose recommendations, as far as I can see, were not taken seriously, the numerous meetings, the effort to hire people - here we are on day 399 with not much accomplished. We still have no shows with no replacements. We still struggle to get just two EMT-Basics to respond to calls that need more highly trained paramedics. When do they figure out this is not working?

Buckeye Lake asked Hebron for options. Hebron proposed a realistic, cost effective, workable solution to our problem. I say, try it for a year. If it doesn’t work, we don’t renew the contract. The community deserves at least a try.

We would maintain our own fire services. Mutual aid is automatic for structure fire runs so our shortage of manpower isn’t as big an issue as it is with EMS services. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what is wrong with the Hebron proposal. Let’s hear it before the Nov. 5 election. As it stands now, if a contract with Hebron is not signed and at least close to beginning, I will be voting “NO” on the fire levy. Why would the village expect us to keep on funding dysfunctional EMS services? It’s insulting to our intelligence.

We have three candidates running for mayor: Clay Carroll, Brenda Hileman and Jeryne Peterson. Mr. Carroll was clear on his stand, “No contract....just maintain.” Now, I want to know what Mrs. Hileman and Mrs. Peterson have to say.

Judie Cook
Buckeye Lake

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