Letter - EMS levy approval continues outstanding service

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Every six years we vote on the renewal of the countywide emergency medical services levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Those ballots are being delivered.

So what do we get for our investment? We get solid emergency response throughout the county from well-trained volunteer and professional emergency medical technicians (EMTs) providing basic life support. We also get advanced life support from professional paramedics trained to the highest standards anywhere.

They respond to scenes in ambulances equipped as emergency rooms on wheels. Patients under their care at the scene are receiving the same treatment they would get on arrival at the hospital’s ER. It is amazing to witness what they can do.

Our EMS paramedics and EMTs respond to between 5,000 and 6,000 calls a year.

That’s a lot for a county our size. Some are minor, some are life threatening, but each is traumatic for the patients and their loved ones. Nothing is more reassuring to them than the arrival of well-trained help providing expert, compassionate care.

Moreover, EMS personnel are active throughout the community providing training and education to schools and civic groups helping others learn what to do in medical emergencies.

In our county, all of our EMTs and paramedics are also trained firefighters, which means we have a very efficient, cost-effective system of public safety services. That, at least, should appeal to every taxpayer.

I encourage you to vote “yes” and renew the EMS levy so we will continue to receive the outstanding service that saves lives and improves the quality of life in our community.

Steven E. Woolley

Walla Walla

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