By Joe B. Coates
Back in November I had an urgent need for an ambulance at my home. I was in pain and could not move. The 911 dispatcher sent an ambulance from Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital to my aid. I ended up needing a specialized physician that night, so I was transported to another hospital out of the area.
This incident was the very first time in my life I had ever required an ambulance crew to stabilize me and transport me. The two professionals that handled me that night were top-notch right down to the very last detail. After placing me at the medical facility, they made sure that I was going to be okay, that the nurses and doctor at that facility were completely aware of my condition and that I was going to be seen about quickly.
Most importantly, the crew members showed genuine concern for my condition and put my wife’s mind at ease when they arrived and began to check on me. They even made sure that when I was placed on the stretcher, that I was completely comfortable. I felt very little pain while they stabilized me and prepared me for transport, which was a major accomplishment considering the situation I was in. I was well taken care of all the way to the medical facility by two highly professional, local medical responders.
My point is, the hospital is no longer going to provide ambulance coverage for the county. Instead, bids will be let and a new company from out-of-town will win the contract to provide ambulance service to all of Copiah County. So, perhaps instead of a 10 minute trip to my house from HWMH, a new provider might take up to an hour from, say, Jackson. Will I even still be alive when they get there? Will I and/or my family be treated with the same level of care and compassion as we were that night back in November? Or, will be just another number?
I’m highly concerned about who will be providing ambulance service to the county after HWMH ceases to offer it in April. Since we are all potential customers of the service, everyone should be.
By Joe B. Coates