Letter to the Editor: Moffat County EMS Saved My Life, Now it’s Our Turn to Support Them
To tell you the truth, I would not be writing this letter if it were not for the emergency medical services (EMS) out of Memorial Regional Hospital. In 2016, I felt hopeless and believed that everyone would be better off without me. I had fallen through the cracks of a broken mental health care system and didn’t know what else to do, so I tried to take my own life. A friend came to check on me and immediately called emergency services. They were able to arrive in time and saved my life.
I owe everything to the EMS personnel, and I’m grateful they were there in my darkest hour. I know my experience with them is not unique. After my recovery, I served alongside EMS in the hospital as a safety advocate, working twelve hour shifts and helping support patients who were facing mental health crises. Time after time, I watched them go above and beyond the call of duty, treating every patient with the utmost care and compassion. Not a day goes by where they don’t look out for our community.
Now it’s our turn to have their back. Moffat County has an opportunity ahead of us to take control of our EMS services and provide long term stability and certainty for our communities. I support a health service district that funds Moffat County EMS services.
For those who are unfamiliar, a health service district is a special tax district — like a school, fire or water district — that is created by voters to serve the health needs of a community. It is a local entity governed by a locally elected board, similar to the Craig Fire District. This solution will keep our community safe, give residents control over our resources, and provide much needed stability and efficiency to our emergency response systems.
Every resident of Moffat County, regardless of where you live, would benefit from a health service district. Like many folks, I live in a remote part of the county. In fact, if you looked up my address on Google it would appear in Belgium. If the EMS were just five minutes late when I needed help, I would not have survived. A health service district would expand timely emergency response to remote and rural areas, like Dinosaur and Maybell. In an emergency, help should only be a phone call away.
Our first responders are heroes and they deserve our support. They play a critical role in our local health care system in which resources are few and far between. I have seen the burden they carry while taking care of folks in need, especially those who serve as volunteers. If Moffat County had to cut back or stop providing EMS service, it would be disastrous. A health service district will give us the ease of knowing that our safety isn’t in jeopardy.
Moffat County EMS gave me a new lease on life and we can do the same for them. I urge the community to come together and support the creation of the Moffat County Health Service District. We cannot go without the first responders who are there to care for us. We put our lives in their hands every day, and now their fate is in ours. You can show your support for our health care heroes by voting to approve a health service district.
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