The closing of Lake Shore Health Care Center is not only sad for the workers and people who need emergency care in the surrounding rural areas; it is also disappointing for our Emergency Medical Service members who operate off of a limited budget as a volunteer fire service.
These members respond to several calls a day in their areas often with limited manpower.
People cannot afford paid ambulance services for emergency transport to a hospital in an emergency situation and cannot be without an ambulance for an extended time period. If Lake Shore closes, there will be a need for extra time and mileage to get to the next closest care facility.
As a past member of a volunteer fire service, there have been times where the patient's life was in danger due to the precious extra time needed to get to the hospital. Things then depend on emergency room traffic at the hospital, not to mention the precious time wasted on motorists who refuse to yield to an ambulance in traffic or the weather conditions en route to a hospital running with lights and siren.
People who have taken CPR know how tiring and stressful CPR is in a classroom while training under non-emergencies. If you have two EMS members in the back of an ambulance attempting to give CPR to a person while traveling, hitting bumps in the road and trying to keep balance, after a length of time it gets very tiring to continue. With the extra travel time needed to reach a hospital, this is another factor that may affect someone's life.
Hopefully this issue can be resolved to help the hospitals, the EMS Fire Departments and to protect the people in the communities without overloading the hospital emergency room patient flow.
Gary Bonnas is a Portland resident.