Hospital ramps and ambulance funding

Letters to the editor January 6 to 12

Posted 1/5/22

Supporting the new Highland Ambulance

It was about 50 years ago or thereabouts that a group of dedicated members of the American Legion got the idea to create an ambulance service to serve the …

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Hospital ramps and ambulance funding

Letters to the editor January 6 to 12

Posted

Supporting the new Highland Ambulance

It was about 50 years ago or thereabouts that a group of dedicated members of the American Legion got the idea to create an ambulance service to serve the community in the Town of Highland, and the American Legion gave birth to the ambulance corps.

As the ambulance corps grew, the American Legion, its parent, monitored its growth, overseeing its organization, establishing an income stream and providing it with shelter.

As any parent knows, there comes a time when your child becomes an adult and looks forward to going out into the world on its own. This is a natural occurrence and a compliment to the parent for doing their job well.

Upon review, we recognize that this will actually be a very good thing. It will allow the ambulance corps to fully function with its focus on emergency medical care and the American Legion to return to its primary focus: tending to military veteran affairs and instilling patriotism within the community.

The American Legion and its ambulance corps acted as a single unit. Therefore, the separation will require some delicate surgery due to functional and legal issues.

The American Legion wants the Town of Highland to know that it recognizes the need for a fully functioning and competent ambulance corps. Therefore, we will support their activities and endeavors to the greatest extent that we possibly can.

Peter Barnes, Commander

Andrew Valenti, Service Officer

Eldred, NY

Exit ramp to Garnet Hospital ER badly needed

I read the article by Ramsay Adams, the executive director of Catskill Mountainkeeper in Livingston Manor, titled “Widening Route 17 won’t solve problems,” on page 13A, December 11,  in the Times Herald-Record. Although I generally disagree with his conclusion, he has revived a very important and sensitive medical issue for us northern Sullivan County residents.  

How about an emergency exit ramp from Route 17 south directly up the slope into the Catskill Regional Hospital (Garnet) distant parking lot just below the ambulance emergency entrance? (They have since built an essential heliport along, but not disruptive of, that proposed exit route. You can clearly see it from the highway.)

A Route 17 southbound exit directly into the hospital would save emergencies five painful, excruciating minutes for ambulances and cars and doctors rushing to the hospital.

As a former six-year member of the Grahamsville Fire Aid Squad and an EMT, I know that every Sullivan County squad wanted this exit ramp; a local architect actually drew up survey exit plans, which I still have. We would get contributions to build the exit.

Because of the politics and Interstate 86, and our busy schedules, the plan lay dormant.

Are you or Catskill Mountainkeeper interested in re-opening this life-saving Sullivan County community project?

Note: At present, the poorly designed Route 17 south exit to the Catskill Regional Hospital (Garnet) is a long winding curve to old Route 17. Then there’s a stop. Then a right turn past the large entrance to Route 17 north onto the Quickway away from the hospital—a catastrophic error—to the “unbalanced” intersection of old Route 17, then a right turn onto Harris Road, under the Quickway underpass, and up a very curvy narrow two-way road and past the hospital’s lower parking lots, up to the emergency entrance, with a sick or injured person in your car or tied down in an ambulance.

William A. Brenner, Esq.

Grahamsville, NY

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