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Journal reader: 'Thurman residents, support your EMS squad!'

Members of the Thurman Emergency Medical Services — Captain John O'Neill (right), President Jean Coulard (center) and former captain Adam Styers — pose recently for a photograph. The independent agency's funding has been cut from the town's 2013 budget, leaving the squad's funding uncertain — a situation which has dismayed a number of local citizens who worry about availability and response time of ambulances in Thurman.

Members of the Thurman Emergency Medical Services — Captain John O'Neill (right), President Jean Coulard (center) and former captain Adam Styers — pose recently for a photograph. The independent agency's funding has been cut from the town's 2013 budget, leaving the squad's funding uncertain — a situation which has dismayed a number of local citizens who worry about availability and response time of ambulances in Thurman. Photo by Thom Randall.

Thurman has become an undesirable place to live, something I never thought possible. All this just to keep taxes down? The EMS agency has proposed in a recent letter that it would cost each household $45 per year to keep the EMS squad operating. That’s only $3.75 a month per household!

I am all for controlling taxes, but $3.75 per month is an increase I can support when I know that urgent medical care will be available for my family if the need arises.

Let me share with you the times that the EMS came to the aid for my family. I can assure you that my family would have preferred to pay the $45 in taxes as opposed to a very large unplanned bill from a private EMS squad.

On June 14, 1997 local ambulance personnel came to my rescue as I lay unconscious on the side of Athol Road. Could you imagine how my parents would have felt if the EMS did not come to my rescue?

They assisted my family again Oct. 25, 2001 the night my dad Teddy Ackley passed away. You probably all remember him as the guy who fixed your breaks or maybe a television. He was a neighbor helping his fellow neighbors. I was 18, and my brothers were 16 and 14. Although they could not revive my dad, they were there! Could you imagine what my mom would have done with three hysterically upset children if the EMS was not available and we had to wait for a coroner to arrive? I would not have wanted to be in her shoes for such a situation.

Thurman has gotten rid of so much that this elimination of programs and services has already badly affected our community.

As a resident, a taxpayer, a mother and wife, I urge the Thurman community to stop this decline and reverse these changes. Let’s stand our ground and try to preserve all that Thurman has left.

The EMS is a crucial staple of our community — you never know when you may need them. I just pray that they are in operation when you do need their services.

Karen Ackley-Ward, Thurman

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