Archive for Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Letter to the editor: In defense of EMS

October 6, 2004

To the editor:

I am married to an EMS technician and I am sick of articles/letters published with only half-truths.

There are three ambulance stations covering Leavenworth County. One is in Tonganoxie. The county is split into districts that each station covers. The only time the ambulance in Tonganoxie is dispatched out of the coverage district is when all ambulances covering the rest of the county are on a call. The procedure when all the "north" ambulances are out, is to have the unit from Tonganoxie move to the county shop. This is to enable a good response time for all areas in the county. The flip side of this is when the unit in Tonganoxie is on a call, if a unit from one of the stations in Leavenworth is available, it will move to the county shop. Leavenworth city and Fort Leavenworth make up the bulk of the county population. Where would you place your resources? Where do the majority of calls occur?

I am very sorry for Ms. Potts' loss, but for Dr. Cristiano or her to believe EMS had anything to do with her death is wrong. I did not see it mentioned in this article that EMS personnel tried to persuade the patient to go. Cristiano's comments would make a person believe otherwise. In an earlier article, it was stated Ms. Wilson was able to answer questions used to determine coherency. I cannot know exactly what was said and EMS cannot respond to these allegations due to patient confidentiality laws. From experience I know they always try to talk a patient into going to the hospital. The technicians believed if they had transported the patient against her will it would be kidnapping. Cristiano said EMS should have called him. Why didn't Ms. Potts?

EMS technicians are not doctors. They can only assess a situation based on what they see. They do not have X-ray equipment on board to tell them a patient has suffered a broken hip. Did Cristiano release Ms. Wilson too soon?

Ms. Potts is asking the state to revoke the certification of Leavenworth County EMS. The taxpayers need this service. EMS employees serve their community well. EMS technicians are not well paid. Most hold a second job to make ends meet. They do the job because they love it, have a calling and want to help others. I am outraged Ms. Potts feels she has the right to take my ambulance service from me. I would be the first to admit there are major issues with the administration. The place for Ms. Potts to request change is in our county commissioners and with the EMS administration.

Sheila Gottschalk,
Leavenworth.

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