Letter from J. Michael Edwards

Posted December 31, 2021 at 4:44 pm by

In the mail­bag this after­noon we find this let­ter to you from J. Michael Edwards…

The PHD #1 Again ‘Miss­ing the Boat’

In their press release of Nov. 24, 2021 the PHD #1 stat­ed: “On Novem­ber 2, 2021, res­i­dents vot­ed for San Juan Island EMS to remain under the juris­dic­tion of San Juan Coun­ty Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal Dis­trict No. 1.” In actu­al­i­ty, a major­i­ty of the res­i­dents (over 56%) vot­ed for the levy to merge EMS ser­vices with the San Juan Island’s Fire and Res­cue #3 and away from the PHD…in fact a low­er per­cent­age sup­port­ed the PHD’s levy lift to acquire the Village.

The PHD’s aban­don­ing sup­port of the EMS merg­er with Fire and Res­cue #3 demon­strates the PHD board’s pride­ful blind­ness, and flies in the face of not only dis­trict vot­ers but also dia­met­ri­cal­ly oppos­es the find­ings of the Cit­i­zens Advi­so­ry Group (CAG), the expressed opin­ion of our San Juan Coun­ty EMS Med­ical Pro­gram Direc­tor and both Fire and Res­cue #3 and PHD Boards.

The lat­est deci­sion of the PHD to with­draw their sup­port for a merg­er is most dis­con­cert­ing for the fol­low­ing rea­sons among many others:

The PHD has lost a con­sid­er­able num­ber of their vol­un­teer EMTs who have cho­sen to join the ranks of Fire and Res­cue #3’s EMT/Firefighters, to the point that the PHD Chair has admit­ted they are hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties fill­ing the EMT duty ros­ter. One very impor­tant rea­son is that the PHD has repeat­ed­ly dimin­ished the impor­tance of its vol­un­teer EMTs and offi­cial­ly respond­ed to their col­lec­tive con­cerns in an author­i­tar­i­an and demean­ing way. Once on scene, EMS medics per­form admirably, as they also cer­tain­ly would do, with even faster response times, under the lead­er­ship of Fire and Res­cue #3.

The PHD has not pro­vid­ed learned lead­er­ship to its EMS agency in the form of a true Chief vs. a lay “Admin­is­tra­tor”. Pre­vi­ous attempts to fill this vacan­cy have repeat­ed­ly failed so why will con­tin­ued attempts be fruitful?

The PHD is shirk­ing its duty to pro­vide opti­mum call response times by not stag­ing Para­medics at the EMS sta­tion. Sta­tion stag­ing of all 1st respon­ders is the Fire and Res­cue #3 and nation­al model.

The PHD will be over­tasked just run­ning the Vil­lage and unable to cor­rect per­sis­tent inad­e­qua­cies of its EMS agency, prob­lems made worse by EMS’s defi­cient com­mand and admin­is­tra­tive structure.

I call for the PHD to recon­sid­er its deci­sion to not sup­port the trans­fer­ring of its EMS agency and ser­vices to our Fire and Res­cue #3. Our com­mu­ni­ty deserves ful­fill­ment of its desires and sta­bi­liza­tion of its med­ical emer­gency needs.

J. Michael Edwards, MD, DDS
Fri­day Har­bor, WA

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.

Categories: Letters, Opinion, People

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0