Don’t get in an accident in Prosser:
Ambulance response in three lower Yakima Valley towns may take twice as long if money doesn’t show up soon.
It’s a nice country, Central Washington. I like to visit, but I think the next time I drive out there, it’ll be in a borrowed ambulance. You know, so I don’t die waiting for one of the local ones.
The publicly funded Prosser Memorial Hospital owns Emergency Medical Services, he only ambulance program responding to 911 calls in the Grandview, Prosser, Mabton area. But hospital CEO Jim Tavary says they need public money by March 15 or the ambulance service may be cut back in a business decision.
Nine-one-one: I file it under “government services I don’t use but am glad I pay for,” right along with meat inspectors and the 82nd Airborne.
If there isn’t an influx of money, the hospital plans to reduce services by 70 percent starting May 1 — closing a station in Grandview and laying off employees. That will raise response times in emergencies.
But who cares, right? Like the GOP says, practice some goddamn personal responsibility. If you’re having a coronary, it’s your responsibility to swallow two aspirin and drive yourself the 30 miles to the hospital.
The ambulance program has faced a $425,000 shortfall since 2006 when government Medicare reimbursements were restricted. Voters in the hospital district also rejected a levy increase last November.
Ultimately, if folks don’t vote for the levy, it’s their own damn fault. Sure, their taxes are lower (better business climate!), but what’s that worth to you if you die waiting for emergency help?