In the Naples Daily News recent editorial supporting “Middle Ground for Marco Ambulance,” it appears to many Marcoites that you do not understand our situation. Presently the County controls how many ambulances remain on the island, the hours of availability, and what drugs can and cannot be administered by our paramedics. As a City we have control over our city government, our taxes, our police force and our firefighters but not our ambulances. Because of “Home Rule” we should be able to provide the level of emergency medical care that our citizens receive and deserve.
During Hurricane Irma, Collier County pulled the ambulances off our island. When a citizen became seriously ill and required transport to an appropriate facility, Marco Island’s fully trained and capable firefighters/paramedics had to transport the patient. For this medical emergency, they were reprimanded by the County for an unauthorized transport. This reprimand, which lacked common sense, was the height of absurdity.
You mentioned the emergency response times. Marco meets and exceeds these times on a daily basis. Our response times certainly help bolster the data the County keeps. What you do not mention is the time that our citizens have to wait for transport when there are multiple concurrent calls and the County does not have an ambulance on the island. Our paramedics could and should be able to transport immediately. They should be able to administer drugs they are trained to use, and do use when they work on the County ambulances.
I agree that we should have a referendum. I believe that the citizens of Marco Island will support having their own COPCN.
Jerry Swiacki, Marco Island