Normally, my husband John writes about important issues and I write about stuff—feeding birds, digging in the garden and family life. You know, stuff.
This week, we’re switching roles because I am so passionate about emergency medical services. It’s important, but it’s also family stuff to me.
I’ve waited for an ambulance while watching a loved one in distress. I’ve felt relief when it arrived. I trust OTEMS medics when they drive off with my family member in their care.
After an auto accident, I sat in the OTEMS ambulance while the medics checked me out. That’s a service most people don’t realize is free.
After the medics gave me the okay, I went back to shooting pictures for the newspaper of my own accident—but that’s another story.
Because we depend on our local ambulance service, we quickly signed up when the 7Ready program became available.
Through 7Ready, we pay $7 a month on our water bill. Because we are 7Ready participants, our ambulance co-pay is waived.
We saved more than that just a couple of months later when John was taken to St. John Tulsa with an infection in his heart. Our $7 a month saved us a $200 co-pay.
Unfortunately, emergency medical care with a cardiac-trained paramedic on every ambulance is expensive. But when I call an ambulance, I don’t want cut-rate service. I want a paramedic who can administer heart drugs.
The current board and management have aggressively cut costs and overhead during the past three years to balance the budget. 7Ready is one way to bring some stability to the revenue side as Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance continually slash payments.
The bylaw change at the RWD4 annual meeting on Monday night would change the 7Ready program from opt-in to opt-out. It would broaden the base of support while still allowing members to choose if they don’t want to participate.
A Yes vote doesn’t obligate you to anything. It does give your neighbors an easier way to join 7Ready if they want to, but more important it means we’ll get fast, top-notch ambulance service when a love one’s life depends on it.
For me, it’s an easy choice.