To the Editor:

The Crier reported on Sept. 25, 2018 that a consultant and the DeKalb County Fire Rescue chief dismissed the importance of ambulance response times to emergency calls to the county’s 911 system. The statement was taken out of context.

Response times to emergency calls are critical. To ensure successful outcomes, DeKalb County has a two-part strategy involving Fire Rescue and AMR, the ambulance provider, working in partnership to not only reduce response times, but to increase the level of service provided upon arrival.

When an emergency call is received by a 911 operator, the dispatcher conducts a triage assessment to determine the best response and pre-arrival instructions (e.g. lifesaving actions). The appropriate unit is dispatched, Fire Rescue and/or an ambulance, if needed. The 911 operator remains in contact with the caller until Fire Rescue or the ambulance arrives.

On average, Fire Rescue arrives within seven and a half minutes of the initiation of the call.   We anticipate the recently purchased Rapid Response Vehicles will result in even quicker response times by DeKalb County Fire Rescue. All Fire Rescue officers are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and work to stabilize the patient including treating conditions that require immediate life-saving actions such as major bleeding and difficult breathing.

If the ambulance arrives first, they are responsible for stabilizing the patient and then transporting them to the appropriate medical facility including specialized hospitals that offer important treatment such as a cardiac catheter lab or stroke unit.

Response times are critical. However, a response time performance measure based on the type of emergency (e.g. broken bone vs. heart attack) should and will be a key component of any future contract for ambulance services in DeKalb County.

Darnell D. Fullem

Fire Chief, DeKalb County Fire Rescue

To the Editor:

I’m appalled, angered and in a state of shock to read that the EMS consultant stated “response times don’t matter.” My first thought, upon reading that article, was, do I, a single, 70-plus, aged lady really want to grow old in Dunwoody if the city leaders believe as that consultant.

Thank goodness for the integrity of Councilor Nall and any other leaders who believe as he. 

Thirty-five years ago, my then 10-year-old son, was hit by a speeding car in Gainesville (our home at that time.) We didn’t know if he’d survive the few minutes rush to the hospital. He survived, probably in part due to the prompt response and excellent professionalism of the emergency response personnel. 

Any consultant who states response times don’t matter, obviously has no care about people in need, be it the patient or that patient’s family. Regardless of statistics on outcomes, during the emergency only God knows the outcome. It is sheer egotistical stupidity for anyone to assert that response times don’t matter. 

We are all charged with doing our best. This consultant is a sorry example of exhibiting that best. 

And, I deeply regret that any of my tax dollars go toward payment to such a person.

Jeanne de Boer

To the Editor:

As a 40-plus year resident of Dunwoody, I have grown to know and love this area as my home. During that time I have seen candidates come and go. I have also watched some stay and make a difference. Ken Wright has been walking the walk all along the path of our great area way before we became a city and was one who kept the county honest along the way. Ken was instrumental in having us become a city and served as our first Mayor. No easy task to get a new city off the ground and running, always putting us the residents first. I was at that time the chairman of Dunwoody Stage Door Players, and like all local theaters we were struggling to make ends meet.

Not many people know this but Ken donated his pay as Mayor for one year, because he realized the need for the arts in Dunwoody. We could not send a better man than Ken to the legislature.

Jim Redovian

To the Editor:

My first introduction to Ken Wright was during my tenure with the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce when our city was founded and Ken was elected our first Mayor. Over the last ten years, I have realized that Ken is not only smart, he is kind, he is family focused and is someone who is dedicated to serving all of us and the community.

Ken’s business background and his ingenuity for start-up businesses gives him the personal insight into what business leaders are challenged with on a day-to-day basis. He has a unique perspective on how government can get in the way of growth. His experience as the Mayor of Dunwoody, will bring knowledge to the important issues of traffic and education. He will seek solutions for all in a positive manner. He will do this because they are as important to his family as they are to each of ours. Ken is the WRIGHT candidate for the Georgia State House.

Please vote on November 6th.

Debbie Fuse

To the Editor:

When my family and I moved into Dunwoody 15 years ago, one of the first neighbors we met were the Wrights. Since that time, I have personally known Ken as not only a neighbor, but as a friend, businessman, and public servant of our community. Above all, Ken is a man of character who has unselfishly puts the needs of Dunwoody first.

Ken first stepped up to lead the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association - keeping in check the zoning and ordinance power of the county. Following that role he served as president of the group that helped to form our city and then went further into public service by becoming our city’s founding mayor.

As mayor, Ken promised that he would only serve one term in order to successfully get the city up and running, then “pass the baton” to our next mayor. Ten years later, the result of Ken’s hard work speaks for itself: low city taxes and a financial reserve, a commanding police force, and a vibrant park system. I whole heatedly support Ken in the upcoming election for House Seat 79 and hope you will as well.

Alan Mothner

To the Editor:

According to a recent article in The Crier, Sally Harrell and supporters didn’t follow proper procedures when they participated in the July 4th parade. No big deal, right? 

If Sally Harrell can’t be trusted in small things she can’t be trusted in big things

Philip Harrell

To the Editor:

I want to correct misinformation in The Crier last week about Sen. Fran Millar’s record and position on education funding. Senator Millar voted to pass the state budget bill this past legislative session which includes an education component of $12.8 billion, the most in state history, and has regularly voted to pass prior state budget bills.

Saying that Sen. Millar “has a long record of voting for budgets that eliminated $9.2 billion from education funding” makes no sense unless you think the state should eliminate every other responsibility. Education is the biggest line item in the state budget, but the state has many other functions.

If you want to claim that Sen. Millar voted to pass budget bills with less education funding after the 2008-2009 recession when state revenue went down by 25+ percent, you would be correct, but every legislator had to do this because the State budget is required, by law, to be balanced with revenue, something our federal government should pay more attention to. Even so, the K-12 funding in those years went down less than the overall budget.

Sen. Millar has worked for years to promote education within Dekalb County and is the chair of the State Senate Higher Education Committee. He led the effort to fully fund the education budget QBE component for the first time ever. Former DeKalb County School Superintendent Michael Thurmond (now Dekalb County CEO) praises Sen. Millar for his bipartisan approach on issues. Former Dekalb CEO Liane Levetan endorses Senator Millar as the right candidate who actually has accomplishments.

Overall, Sen.Millar has done a great job for Dunwoody, Dekalb County, and the state of Georgia on education issues. He deserves to be re-elected.

Dale Ranta

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