Letters to the Editor

Glowing reports of air ambulance service smack of propoganda | Letters

As a nurse and the wife of a professional pilot, I am appalled at the continuous commercials masquerading as Op-Eds in this paper touting the services of Island Air Ambulance (Air Ambulance? It happens everyday”, Aug. 28, pg. 7), as if it were even remotely equal to the critical services provided by AirLift Northwest.

I do not know what incentive Mr. Larry Wall may have toward pushing this minimal fixed-wing service, but my motivation as a nurse and mother is the best interest of the people who live here.

The use of a single-engine Cessna 207 without anti-ice equipment and without the ability to fly direct to the rooftop of a major hospital is nothing but an emergency backup for the primary helicopter-based services that has protected and saved the lives of San Juan islanders for many years. Time is very often the only factor between life and death.

A clear example is the evacuation of Richard Bach, whose neurosurgeon Dr. Maier clearly stated “…that had it not been for the airlift directly to the hospital, Bach would not have made it to the trauma center within the critical period of time for brain injuries called the ‘golden hour’.”

I was initially worried about living on an island and did my research. A single-engine, non de-iced Cessna is a laughable comparison to a twin engine turbine-powered fully-deiced Turbo Commander which Airlift Northwest also has on standby.

As a full-time island resident I am outraged that a biased decision would ever be made without my consent to call somebody other than Airlift Northwest.

Kathleen Barholomew, San Juan Island

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