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Facing financial squeeze, Thurman EMS asks for help

To the greater Thurman community:

We’ve been there for you — now please be there for us!

The Thurman Town Board voted at their Nov. 16 meeting to remove any funding of the local EMS squad operations, citing items more important.

But what is more important than the health and welfare of the citizenry? What is more important than emergency medical care in the case of an accident, or sudden onset of illness?

At the budget meeting, town board members Leon Galusha and Charles Bills cited the possibility of adding a special district that would add about $45 annually, per taxpayer, to local real property taxes. Is this so much to ask for such a valuable service? Town board member Al Vasak said he thought it was too much! He referred to receiving “many” phone calls insisting on keeping taxes down. Perhaps those calls were referring to such things as raises for town employees, including elected officials, hired office help, an animal control officer; and maybe the cost of an unnecessary electronic sign for the town hall.

We in Thurman know first-hand the value of mutual aid from surrounding squads. They have always been there for us — we are a one-ambulance town. This mutual assistance, and our continued participation, is vital in the region. One example of this is one instance occurring on Nov. 16, when the Thurman Squad assisted Warrensburg EMS with a call that involved six patients at a local eatery.

All the local EMS squads work with each other to provide the best possible service to all towns within our respective territories. We as individuals and caregivers are acutely aware of the importance of mutual aid in demanding situations. EMS squads realize the value of helping each other.

Now it is time for our respective town boards to also realize their responsibility to their constituents for emergency medical service, along with fire protection. These are basic needs of our society.

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