Wednesday, February 15, 2017

LOSS OF LOCAL CONTROL OR LOSS OF LIFE!

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The Lisbon Communication Center has been a topic of discussion for many many years. I have kept up with all of these discussions and in each case I thought I understood the situation and had answers for all the excuses used to explain why the taxpayers are paying over $350,000.00 yearly uselessly when a cost saving of approximately $250,000.00 tax dollars can be had. This closing of the Lisbon Communication Center would improve the quality of life for all citizens in Lisbon.

After hearing the discussion at the Town Council workshop, I was truly struck by the fact that the closing of the Lisbon Communication Center rested on the loss of local control. This was clearly stated by Mr. Fern LaRochelle and shared by a couple of our Councilors. To me, putting the loss of local control over the loss of life is ridiculous. However, it does explain a lot to me. This just goes to show how the “Good Old Boys” network values the lives of citizens.

The current system used by Lisbon does not provide the best possible protection to the people. This was identified in last Town Council workshop on this to issue. Please review the following two scenarios:

1. According to the EMT from Lisbon Emergency, when calls are received using 353-2500, and the Lisbon Communication Center dispatch them; they cannot and do not provide an Emergency Medical Code EMC) which is crucial for EMTs to ensure they are prepared prior to arriving on the scene. According to the EMT, this Emergency Medical Code (EMC) greatly improves the patient’s chances of survival. Again, Lisbon Communication Center cannot provide this EMC; only the 911 operator can provide this code.

2. All 911 calls currently are received by the Androscoggin County Dispatcher as directed by the Maine State Public Safety Director. These 911 operators are mandated, by the Town of Lisbon, to relay the information to the Lisbon Communication Center to have OUR First Responders dispatched to the scene. It certainly would be more efficient and effective to have the 911 operator dispatch OUR First Responders immediately upon receiving the call thus reducing the time it takes OUR First Responders to get to the scene and provide emergency medical services. As everyone can see there is a time delay when you have to relay information and what happens when 911 operators cannot get a response from the Lisbon Communication Center right away. When I visited the Androscoggin County Dispatch, I asked the two operators on duty what their problems were with Lisbon and was told that numerous times they cannot reach anyone on 353-2500. Think about the delay at that point, and imagine you or a loved one is the patient waiting for emergency medical services.

So the real question is do the “Good Old Boys” network give up local control or improve the quality of life of our residents. To me, there is no choice and that is to give up local control. I say this because a single life of one of our own or a love one is more important than local control.

There are many towns in Maine who have faced this same situation and it was not a choice for them because they gave up local control and it is working well for them. In my mind, they made the right choice when they put the lives of their people ahead of local control.

What will our Town Council decide? Watch and see who votes to keep local control verses those Councilors who vote to save lives. This will show you which Councilors are member of the “Good Old Boy” network and which are willing to put the best interest of the community first.

Larry Fillmore