The other day I went to a town hall meeting regarding the ambulance service on Marco Island. I learned several important things.
The Governor recently signed a bill allowing Marco Island residents to decide whether we want Marco Island to have control of our ambulance service. At the present time, Collier Country has total control of our ambulance and Emergency Medical Service. Marco Island ambulances are not allowed to carry several drugs that are considered life saving. Doctor Jerry Swiacki informed us that there is a “golden hour” for life saving drugs to work. Collier County decides which drugs Marco Island ambulances can carry and Marco Island ambulances CANNOT carry most of these drugs. Only Collier County ambulances can carry them. If you have a stroke, seizure or heart attack, paramedics on Marco Island ambulances can only administer IV with saline until a Collier County ambulance arrives. Only a Collier County ambulance can take you to a hospital. Several residents in the audience described how their loved ones died due to this policy of control. Under Home Rule, Marco Island controls its police and fire departments.
We have an opportunity on the August 28 referendum to decide whether we want to take control of our ambulances. I urge all residents to vote YES. This is important. If you are going up north please request an absentee ballot. Whatever you decide PLEASE VOTE.