Kudos to our dedicated public servants

Published 6:14 pm Friday, March 17, 2017

This week’s fiscal court meeting was an eye-opener regarding emergency services throughout Danville and Boyle County. Today’s EMTs and paramedics are remarkable. They routinely introduce IVs to save victims of blood loss, shock heart attack patients back to life with costly equipment and save victims of drug overdoses. And the scope of their skills goes far beyond these.

In addition to exhaustive training and certification, vehicles and equipment come in at staggering costs.  Examining the life-preserving role of these men and women, we must stop and pay tribute to them.  Theirs is not simply a job; it is a vocation. They are individuals, our neighbors dedicated to each of us in extreme times.

In rural America, as recently as the late 1960s, before these professions came into being, local funeral homes often hired untrained young men and women to transport those needing care. Few towns had the luxury of ambulances, skilled workers and interface with hospital emergency rooms. That all changed in the late 1970s, when state and federal legislation funded emergency medical care that has today increased exponentially, both in terms of sophistication and cost.

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While we may grumble about high taxes, we must recognize just how difficult juggling line item matters such as trauma care becomes. Danville City Commission, our fiscal court judge and magistrates must weigh finite funds against infinite demands. In the case of emergency services, each does an amazing job. And that praise must be shared with the professionals we employ. Simply put, when needed, we as taxpayers are receiving care at a substantial value.

This letter would be remiss without recognition of our Danville Police and Fire departments, our Boyle County Sheriff’s Office and volunteer firefighters — men and women who keep us safe and secure.  They all work at risk that we might live in comfort and security.

Next time you see these public servants in our community, thank them. When at a restaurant, send over a dessert without recognition. Every one of these dedicated public servants deserves more than we can ever repay.

Tom Ellis