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Troy transplants experience "impressive" emergency response

| February 23, 2006 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

When I moved to the Troy area several years ago, I retired from a long and satisfying career in social services. The most rewarding of those years were the many I spent as a medical social worker, particularly those during which I worked on the front lines dealing with medical emergencies.

The down side of all this was that when my husband became suddenly and seriously ill on Feb. 11, I found myself in the uncomfortable situation of knowing exactly what was going on and recognizing the seriousness of his condition.

Since leaving urban living behind, I admit I have always been uneasy about living so far from the medical services available in more populated communities. The frightening events of Feb. 11 provided a real wake up call for me. My worrying could have been put to better use elsewhere.

However, the availability of adequate medical care was the farthest thing from my mind on the evening of Feb. 11 as my husband and I waited at the Silver Spur for our take out order of their great clam chowder. It's amazing how swiftly one's life can change.

First and most importantly Doreen, whose last name I still don't know, quickly and efficiently stepped in and took over the 911 call and left me free to be with my husband. Even in a situation where seconds stretch into hours, the first responders' appearance on the scene was remarkably swift. Just as impressive and gratifying was their willingness to listen, their ability to evaluate and treat, and their professionalism, skill and compassion. My appreciation extends to the ambulance driver as well, who could easily be claiming fame and fortune at the Grand Prix, who got us to Libby in record time, yet somehow managed to ease my mind by anticipating questions and concerns and explaining in advance the various communications and route to the hospital that could otherwise have added to my apprehension.

I am not aware of the names of any of these people, either. However, I am aware of the rigorous training they have to complete, the demands of continuing education, and the sustained effort their dedication to our community extracts from them. They sacrifice a lot in order to be available when we need them and to assure the best possible resolution to emergency situations, and they do this anonymously.

I'm sorry I couldn't thank them in person, but they know who they are, and I want all of them (those who responded to our personal emergency and all those others who make themselves available when we need them) to know that they are my heroes. Thank you all so very much for your help.

Vivian Scheffler Harris

Troy