Rescue problems

I am a fairly new business owner in Fluvanna County after having retired from a wonderful career in public safety. I still maintain my paramedic certification and practice in another part of the state. The items mentioned in the article that were missing, dirty or expired are life saving items. Airways, suction units, laryngoscope blades, heart monitor, etc. are items that need to be ready to use all the time. The liability for failure to have functioning equipment is unbelievable.
The fact that this type of action has occurred on more than one occasion indicates that there is a much larger problem that needs to be addressed. There have been several articles published in area newspapers outlining the dearth of volunteers in the rescue squads and fire departments. This is not a situation peculiar to Fluvanna. It is a situation that is common across the country. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs and Virginia Office of EMS completed a study less than a year ago that addressed the current state of affairs and made several recommendations for improvements. What has been done so far? My guess is nothing.
I frequently listen to the Fire/EMS radio while I am operating my business. The citizens would be appalled if they knew how long it sometimes takes to get assistance. It seems as though there is little advanced life support available in the county during the day. The county administrator and Board of Supervisors need to step up to the plate and address this situation immediately. We are not talking about simple things. We are talking about saving peoples’ lives. Perhaps the county should publish the response time goals now required by the Virginia Office of EMS.
The citizens of Fluvanna should understand that this situation will never get better following the present mode of operation. There are volunteer fire and EMS agencies failing all over the state. In all cases, the elected leadership of the jurisdiction has had to step in and make things right. Fluvanna needs to do the same. With the training courses now being longer, I doubt that there will ever be an abundance of volunteers that will bring things back to where they were 10-20 years ago. There is absolutely no disrespect for the volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to the citizens. They are to be commended. Times have changed, science is better and more lives can be saved. Unfortunately, volunteerism is dying. As the population increases in the county, so will the need for prompt, effective emergency services.
Mr. County Administrator and Board of Supervisors please step in and do something now. The situation will only get worse. Do we need to measure how many people die before something is done? I’m even willing to share ideas that worked for me in my previous career if you want to hear them.
Without effective public safety the citizens have nothing.

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