VIEWS ON EMERGENCY CENTER

(01/13/2003)

Dear Editor,

I was one of the first dispatchers to be hired after the money was allotted for another dispatcher when the center was moved to the current location. At the time when the building was first brought up to the E.M.S., I cannot begin to tell you how many countless hours we had to spend of our own time just to get it into shape where we could use it for what we needed. We all knew what challenges it would be just to get it ready to serve the county in the manner it has so far.

I can remember the long nights painting, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning we all had to do, not to mention all of the work that went into building the 911 center, and getting everything in order with what we had to work with.

It seems to me that the issue of the new location for the building has always been there. After all, look how long the fire department had to wait to get the land for the building they have. I was also a very active member for several years with the fire department, and I must say they DO need a new truck. I have been driving a fire truck before when it has broken down and it is really hard to give the residents the fire protection they deserve when one or even two trucks are at Smiths Auto Repair getting fixed, or just waiting on parts, or even the money to fix them.

I just want to say that I understand that the residents of the "UPPER END " of the county needs better coverage when it comes to fire and E.M.S. . There has always been that issue since I first started working the two departments over 10 years ago before I had to move away because of the job market.

I can remember when this first came about everyone wanted the ambulances at the hospital, and then several people were unhappy they went to the RIDGE, and they must still be. I think the best thing the county is to get the money together and either build or buy a building near the Yellow Creek area on Route 16 so it could house a fire truck, radio repeaters for the 911 center, and put and ambulance with a crew there 24 / 7 so it would provide the residents the protection they want.

This has been offered to the county several times and it has just gotten no where! I understand the money thing in the county, but if everyone wants the protection they deserve, the county should make this their biggest issue and leave all the other little issues at rest until the county has a better coverage and response time for the E.M.S. and fire departments.

I want to state for the record that Randy Burgess has had his heart in the E.M.S. in Calhoun County ever since he started there. When Randy and I spent countless hours together responding to calls in the county, I knew he would make a great director someday.

I think that the people who has voted to take the property in the " CITY LIMITS " of Grantsville for the building need to understand that there has been and always will be a problem with radio coverage in that area, and moving the E.M.S. & O.E.S. to the city will not help. It may only add up more of a cost to upgrade the radios currently being used.

I must say that the building the E.M.S. & O.E.S. is in at this time, is VERY LONG OVER DUE for a new one. I just hope the county officials will just go ahead and let the building be built on the " RIDGE, " and just find a way to get the "UPPER END " of the county the protection and the building they need, the same protection that the " LOWER END " of the county has now at the old school building. I feel this was one of the best things that has happened to the E.M.S. to give the residents of the West Fork the service they need.

I hope that everyone can get this issue resolved this year.

Mike Milam