Support the Pleasant Hill-Newton fire levy

To the Editor:

I write this letter in support of the Pleasant Hill — Newton Township Joint Fire District. I have tremendous respect and gratitude for all the wonderful people over many years who have volunteered their services to operate our fire department and rescue squad. These courageous volunteers have responded to countless calls of someone in desperate need of help! How can we ever thank them for putting out a fire, saving a life, or running out of their son or daughter’s game when responding to another emergency?!

I can only imagine the amount of time required of our volunteers to be able to support the operation of a fire station and emergency medical services. Constant training to acquire necessary skills and to maintain those skills requires precious time that could be spent with family. They also raise funds through various fundraising activities to offset the cost of very expensive equipment. In short, they give much of themselves to serve our community! With the demands of everyday life and supporting their family, those who once volunteered no longer can.

I hope you will join me in supporting the Joint Fire District levy. Our community has always supported the school and other public services when the need was obvious! Our Joint Fire District has an obvious need! Times have changed. We can’t support a modern day fire and rescue department as if it’s still 1970.

On the morning of Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, the day after Thanksgiving, my dear 92-year-old mother developed a massive blood clot in her right arm. She was in excruciating pain and we knew that this was a life threatening situation. A call was made to 911 and the dispatcher dropped a tone for the Pleasant Hill Rescue Squad to respond. Because of the holiday, only one volunteer EMT was available to make the run. Obviously the EMT couldn’t drive the ambulance and tend to my mother’s medical needs so my brother drove his personal car to the emergency room with the EMT and my mom in the back seat. We blame no one as no one did anything wrong. As a matter of fact, our family was extremely appreciative of the EMT for the courage, skill, and compassion she demonstrated under pressure. She was great! Despite the EMT’s best effort, and those of the doctors’ at MVH, my mom died 13 days later.

This event was more than enough to convince me that our community should provide the kind of financial support necessary to enable our fire department and rescue squad to properly staff the department at all times. There is also a need for newer and better equipment. I strongly support the Newton Joint Fire District Levy and I hope everyone in our community will vote “For” this tax levy.

— Pat McBride

Pleasant Hill