Letter to the editor — August 8, 2011

Concerned about ambulances

We were saddened to read the disparaging remarks made by the two county paramedics and the Allen County commissioner from Humboldt that there is no comparison between the two services (Allen County and Iola City). Have you heard complaints about either? Ask around.
It was said by an Allen County crew member in Wednesday’s Iola Register that about 90 percent of their staff was hired from out of town and they did not wish to relocate here. Where does the other 10 percent come from? You would think that there would be no unkind remarks when the county hires Iola City firefighters to be on their staff part time.
“Saving lives — not property” — a direct quote from the article. This was a hurtful thing — when Iola firemen will go into a burning home to save someone’s life and put their own lives at risk. It takes a special, compassionate heart to care for others so you would think firefighting and saving lives through ambulance calls would go hand-in-hand.
The city could not get a compromise in 2009, so it decided to start the Iola City Ambulance Service. At that time the county wanted to run the whole thing. People can be hard to deal with.
Everyone wants the best for all citizens of Allen County. There was no malicious intent involved by the city’s presentation to the city and county commissioners. The numbers were looked at and a huge savings was found for the Allen County taxpayers by having the one ambulance service. The Iola Register had mentioned needs presented to the county lately, one of them being $50,000 for Allen County Animal Rescue Facility. This presentation was not done “to take over” but to help Allen Countians. We all pay taxes. Before 2009, did you hear complaints about the Iola city service, with ambulances at Moran and Humboldt? Cooperation is the key — but it takes all parties involved.
Thank you. We think Gary McIntosh’s idea to have a citizens committee was a good one.

Sharon Thyer
Iola, Kan.

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