To the Editor:
Regarding Buddy Grinstead's "balking up and flyin' backwards" over the issue of hiring a full-time EMS person for Maybell:
Growing up on ranches, my old Dad once told me sternly that "helping our neighbors was probably as close as we would ever get to doing God's work."
Young in age, I thought I had more important things to do than take my time and my small amount of money to help out a country family in need.
Maybell is our country family, and they are in need. What price do we put on serving our own county to provide the most specific, skilled, efficient medical staff and equipment to give the required care for and save human lives in our outlying areas?
There was one paycheck a year and this was after the old cows, barren cows, too wild first calf heifers and steers were sold. No member of my family said it was their turn to get anything. The money went to the ones who needed necessary items and you know, I never did without.
Country people understand this.
When I first read the amount of $35,000 annual salary, my sense was this job would be just like a ranch job -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a lot of miles to cover and a lot riding on this person being there.
The responsibility and time for teaching, coordination, dealing with severe trauma and comforting, as well as saving lives, would be around the clock.
The wage figures to $3.99 an hour.
Country people understand this.
The only applicant for this job, apparently, has had the determination and strength of heart to stick with this as a volunteer for years, and the willingness to give of herself to others in a rural area is admirable -- to help with skill and expertise.
Over the years, and comparable to the Maybell/Dinosaur area, was making it from the Crescent Hereford Ranch at Divide, Colo., down to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs -- a near two-hour trip -- and from east of Colorado Springs with two severe traumas on the ranch, one in which my dad and younger brother were working on a windmill. A chain broke and both of my brother's hands were crushed with all four fingers on one hand severed. My dad suffered a crushed pelvis when a horse fell with him. That was another one-and-a-half to two-hour drive to a hospital.
Having trained medical staff available at some location would have saved all of us much anguish. Memories of getting us, all at one time, gathered up, stabilized, loaded in a truck and the long painful rides to hospitals are not pleasant. Now, living in town in my old age, within ten minutes of The Memorial Hospital and with 24-hour ambulance service, the past rural, isolated medical emergencies have dimmed some, however, not much.
As with many of my town's folks who were raised the same.
If I have a problem with law breakers, I am grateful to see a deputy respond, however, if my family has a medical emergency, I need a trained medical technician to respond, to feel that they are in competent hands to the outcome will be the best it can be.
Mr. Grinstead, instead of sitting in his new complex, needs to "ramble more" and get out with the grassroots people and spend 20-hour days calving, lambing, doctoring, planting, harvesting, haying and fence building and witness the unattended injuries that have gone along with these endeavors for centuries before he puts a price on a dedicated country job. It's not your turn.
This is not to mention the medical crisis from natural causes, which is a given. My thank you to the county commissioners for pursuing a solution in support of medical assistance for the west county area, if not a perfect solution, and in the face of financial constraints.
Also, thank you to the many residents of the Maybell area for the years of volunteer work to keep the system available to people in need.
May compassion and courtesy prevail in the new year.
Thank you commissioners.