An Open Letter to the Rural Health Center Board
Dear Board Members,
It is with great sadness that the Beaver Island Emergency Medical Service has come to realize that the BIRHC Board has decided to sever a sixteen-year partnership with BIEMS. The members of BIEMS regret whatever has caused this severance, but are powerless to restore this partnership due to recent decisions of the BIRHC Board.
We have heard through gossip in the community, and confirmed by Don Vyse, St. James Township Supervisor, that BIEMS has been completely deleted from the plans for a new BIRHC building. It appears that the many hours of work on and for the BIRHC Task Force seem to have been in vain. I do not believe that the Task Force would have even considered severance of this partnership nor do I believe that the Task Force's Report to the community on Beaver Island had any indication of a separation between the BIRHC and BIEMS. Completely to the contrary, I believe that this report, that was more than a year in the making, suggested that a stronger partnership with BIEMS was needed. I also believe that those on the Task Force have been overwhelmed by a few who are not knowledgeable about the sixteen-year history of this relationship between BIRHC and BIEMS.
We strongly believe that we deserve a written reason for what we see is an outright dismissal of the emergency care needs of the members of the Beaver Island Community. Reportedly, there are trauma rooms as part of the new BIRHC plans. Who will be delivering trauma patients to these trauma rooms? Who will be transporting seriously ill patients from this new facility? Where will the transport vehicles be housed?
It seems that the volunteers of BIEMS, who have been providing emergency care for the residents of Beaver Island and the visitors to Beaver Island for the last sixteen years, have been cast out to fend for ourselves. If this is not the purpose of our removal from the BIRHC Board's plans for a new rural health center, then we deserve a logical, written reason.
As part of the work of the BIRHC Task Force, an air ambulance need was seriously discussed. As soon as the reality of an air ambulance service for Beaver Island became financially possible, the BIRHC Board has pushed BIEMS out of the plan for medical care for the Island.
You now have the financial means to build our request for an ambulance garage. You now have the financial means to make an air ambulance a reality for the people of Beaver Island. We, the volunteer members of BIEMS, have the expertise to provide the needs for emergency pre-hospital care for the injured and ill patients of Beaver Island. We are truly sorry that the BIRHC Board has chosen to put us out in the cold.
Joseph A. Moore, BA, EMT-P, IC
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