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EMS volunteers met test, we should help meet their needs

Dear Editor,

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on a job well done to the volunteer emergency medical services in Parachute, as well as those responding in mutual aid from Rifle and Silt, involving the mass casualty van rollover with the firefighters on June 21.

The community should feel grateful that they have so many volunteers willing to respond at a moment’s notice to such emergencies. The crews did an excellent job under extremely difficult circumstances.

In reviewing the events surrounding this accident, it is quite humbling to realize just what our EMS volunteers have to go through sometimes. Indeed, as the population of the valley rapidly increases, our EMS volunteers will soon be stretched to their limits. These volunteers spend many long hours training for no pay. They are called away from their jobs and families at a moment’s notice, without thought of being compensated. Their compensation is mostly a pat on the back, a handshake, and smiles from the patients they are able to save.

Given the increasing stresses in the system, we need to think into the future and look seriously at better funding for EMS. This includes updating equipment as well as providing compensation for paramedic-trained personnel to be on call 24 hours a day.

Again, congratulations on a job well done to our EMS personnel. I commend all those involved in this incident on a job well done. The community also should extend their thanks to the many volunteers who are willing to drop what they are doing at a moment’s notice to help their fellow citizens.

Sincerely,

Kurt Papenfus, M.D.

EMS physician adviser,

Parachute, Rifle and Silt


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