Letter: Bridge praise | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Bridge praise

On the eve of the bridge opening, I drove to Valley View for a day shift in the Emergency Department. Highway 82 into town from the south, merging onto Grand Avenue traffic slowed predictably, drivers dutifully lining up into the single lane. The emergency lane, emblazoned with its solid white line, was a stark reminder of what had come to pass.

Somehow, this community, against tremendous odds over the past 90 days, preserved the precious lifeline of emergency response. You awoke at 4 a.m., hopped onto buses, e-bikes, carpools, sacrificing sleep and time away from family to keep the traffic moving during the most congested hours of the day. Every day, every night, for months. The roadways, like blood vessels, did their work, moving traffic through the city. But the community was the heart, and without those critical adjustments, our patients would have suffered harm. Thank you.

Law enforcement, emergency medical services, dispatch and CDOT exhausted themselves during these months with long hours, daily briefings, constant updates of traffic patterns and rapid diversions when emergencies occurred.

Early during the detour, a particular cardiac emergency example stands out. EMS providers needed to transport a critical patient with heart attack symptoms from New Castle during heavy traffic. Through an incredible, seamless coordination of resources and crisp communication, they cleared Midland Avenue from the I-70 roundabout to Eighth Street just ahead of the arriving ambulance in under 10 minutes. We received that patient without a single delay or any compromise of care.

This skilled, heroic response was then repeated throughout the 90-day closure with multiple emergent obstetric, trauma and cardiac cases. This dedicated cadre of men and women share a deep commitment to our safety in this community and deserve our sincerest thanks. Please take the time to acknowledge their service when you can. A cup of coffee at Starbucks for a tired law enforcement officer or ambulance crew goes a long way.

The emergency medical community thanks you all.

Ben Peery, M.D.

Glenwood Springs