Sunday, September 23, 2018

Letter to the Editor: Must We Continue to Wait?


Thank you to Marvin Easton for his letter of concern on Marco Island’s initiative to secure their COPCN license for Ambulance transport services. As a resident of the Naples Port Royal Community with Dr. Tober, (Collier EMS Medical Director) his interest is commendable. However, the Our City Our Ambulance (OCOA) Committee believes Mr. Easton’s efforts might be better directed helping the City of Naples as it experiences many of the same issues, with the exception that Marco is further from hospitals.

OCOA is confident the City of Marco Island understands the issues and is capable to make the decision to vote YES on August 28 for local control of EMS.The Governor and all State Legislatures (except one) agreed Marco Island has the right to self determine a local ambulance system by approving CS/HB 1395 in March.

Dr. Tober has limited Marco Island Paramedics by restricting them from performing full life saving protocols. A fully integrated Fire/Rescue Department of dual certified Fire Fighters/Paramedics improves organizational and operational efficiencies by providing maximum utilization of personnel for the benefit of patients and community. The current unreasonable limitations are the antithesis to an efficient system.

Perhaps Mr. Easton’s help is needed for Naples, Isles of Capris and East Naples. EMS data demonstrates Medic Rescue 90 and 23 experienced increased response times because these units continually move south to Marco. Consequently, their response times exceed County standards as the County denies Marco Island a second full time ambulance. It also results in longer wait times for Marco patients to be transported to the hospital, as Marco vehicles are not licensed to transport and our patients must wait.

Gene Burson

Marco Island Full-Time Resident

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