Letter: How the MVRS spends its funds
This letter is in response to that of Mr. French concerning the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad ("Library-MVRS funding comparison unnecessary," Feb. 14 Readers Write). I should note here that I have been a member for over 12 years.
It is obvious that Mr. French is well acquainted with personnel problems affecting the squad, and he correctly identifies the federal law that is at the root of the problem. He has hit the nail right on the head.
He also correctly, in my opinion, opines that a critic should come up with recommended solutions to the problem and he proceeded to do just that. His third recommendation was that "MVRS should explain more fully how individual contributor funds are used." That is the purpose of this letter.
When you experience a sudden, crushing pain in the center of your chest and you get short of breath, your first reaction should be to call 911. Within 10-15 minutes, depending on where you live, an ambulance will arrive with its well-trained crew. The senior EMT will take a few minutes assessing your symptoms. If he/she concludes that you’re having a cardiac problem, the crew will put you in the ambulance, hook you up to an EKG and begin to get a readout on your heart. The EMT will then push more buttons and that readout on your heart will go out over the internet, at the speed of light, to a cardiac specialist at Riverside in Newport News. The doctor will then begin discussing over UHF radio the condition with the EMT in the ambulance.
If the doctor concludes that you are having a significant cardiac event, he will have the ambulance call Mathews dispatch to order a medevac helicopter to air lift you to the hospital. The Mathews Volunteer Fire Department will then proceed to set up a landing zone. The ambulance will take you there and you will be flown out. The best time MVRS has in accomplishing this is 55 minutes from the time of the 911 call to the time the patient was in the operating room. That patient is alive and well as I type this. He/she may be your neighbor. MVRS can do that procedure because we have the very latest equipment in our trucks and the trained personnel to use it. No rural county in the state, not one, has better equipment and training than MVRS. We were selected for the top performing rescue squad on the Middle Peninsula for 2011 (Note: The 2012 selection has not been made yet). It’s not bragging if you’ve done it.
So, that is the story of how MVRS has spent its funds: By buying the best equipment and providing the best possible training for our EMTs. The problem we are having is not related to equipment/training; it’s having enough personnel to provide service 24/7. In the present economy, many Mathews citizens who would probably volunteer to help out cannot because they are most likely working two jobs. We therefore need the funding we are requesting to enable us to hire sufficient personnel. With that funding, we can continue to provide top-notch emergency medical service to the citizens of Mathews County 24/7.
That is our mission.
W.J. Frigge (Capt., USN-ret.)