Letters to the Editor, Sept. 8

Marco Eagle

Adjust behavior, commitment

Kudos! Thank you for telling it like it is, even at the expense of you being one of the "unappreciative" ones.

I thank Councilor Roman for pursuing the reason for the high turnover by Marco Island city employees. I was not surprised by the results of the survey. A breath of fresh air knowing it was not edited.

Previous writers challenged the survey/results, defended those being maligned and suggested the survey was not done properly; not done under the guidance of a city manager; that the negatives came from disgruntled employees; and that it should not have been made public.

Now that we have admitted there is a problem, City Council (and others) have to commit to "adjusting our behavior and our commitment."

Virginia Bingle, Marco Island

Improve basic service

At the Marco Island City Council meeting on Aug. 21, Collier County Emergency Medical Services Chief Tabatha Butcher addressed islanders’ concerns that they need additional advanced life support (ALS) services on the island. The council is considering whether to pursue a certificate to provide their own EMS service, separate from Collier County.

As Butcher demonstrated, Marco Island currently has the second-fastest response time in Collier County, bettering the eight-minute response time goal each month. She explained that, even with the requested two full-time ambulances, instead of one full-time and one part-time currently provided by EMS, the change would not improve performance levels.

Editorial cartoon

While county EMS manages the ALS program to achieve the eight-minute response time goal, it is the responsibility of the fire department to provide basic life support (BLS). The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 Standards recommend a four-minute response for BLS. In the last few years, there have been many articles in medical journals and other publications, stressing the importance of BLS and having these units arrive on scene more quickly than ALS units.

The Marco Island Fire Department achieves a four-minute response time only 53 percent of the time. Arriving in minutes closer to 90 percent of the time would make a lifesaving difference, especially in responding to cardiac arrests.

Marco Island councilors are considering devoting considerable money and personnel to provide their own EMS transport services. If these resources were used to improve the fire department’s BLS response times instead (working toward that NFPA four-minute goal), there would be a much bigger payoff in terms of lifesaving benefits than replacing an EMS service on Marco Island that is already outstanding.

Janet Vasey, Naples

Collier veterans office helpful

A sincere “thank you” to the Collier County Veteran Services office, especially to the service officer Alexandra Scardino!

Being a Vietnam War veteran, I was wounded three separate times and exposed to Agent Orange for 10 months during combat missions 50 years ago. I had filed a claim for my veteran’s benefits through the Disabled American Veterans organization, but could never reach any service officers or even got a return phone call.

It took three phones calls to the big local attorney’s office, who claims to be working “for the people” and that they “care about veterans” to just get an “acknowledgment” call that my message was received. I had to wait another month for someone from his office to contact me and ask me all the information for their veterans section attorneys to review. I did and now, six months later, no one has gotten back to me or requested more information.

I decided to try one more time through Collier County Veteran Services. I was able to secure an appointment in two days. After looking through all the history, documents and medical records contained in my folder, my service officer couldn’t believe that no benefits had been granted.

Now, after two appeals with the help of Scardino, I am finally entitled to benefits. What a great job for the veterans Scardino has done! Thank you for your help and support, Collier County Veteran Services.

David Hinds, Naples

Climate change hoax?

My heart goes out to all the people whose lives have been affected by this once-in-a-millennium storm. I also realize how much worse it might have been if climate change were a reality.

How do I know climate change is a hoax? Why, President Donald Trump, Ann Coulter and others of their ilk know better than a huge majority of scientists. They would rather make money for themselves today than worry about what Earth will be for their children and grandchildren.

Nancy L. Urso, Naples