President’s Message Sue Wassermann
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Ladies and gentlemen—this is my final President’s Message. I will be seated as a member of the PRPOA Board of Directors on May 24, so I must resign my Civic Association position. It has been a rewarding position that has allowed me to meet many good people from our neighborhood and throughout the county. Coming from a military career, I always felt temporary wherever I lived, and I voted as a resident of a city and state I didn’t live in. Aside from casting my ballots, I stayed far away from politics since military personnel are not allowed to actively participate in political campaigns, rallies, or protests (though attendance out of uniform is permitted). Now I have a vested interest in our neighborhood, community, county, etc. Change is coming to Citrus County whether we want it or not, and we can either participate in the change or become victims of it.
Our speaker at the May 9 Civic Association meeting talked about significant changes for Citrus County Fire Rescue following an October 2021 Board of County Commissioners meeting. The BOCC voted to add Advanced Life Support equipment (ALS) to fire trucks and to integrate Emergency Medical Services (EMS) into Fire Rescue.
Jason Morgan, Chief of the EMS Department came to Citrus County from just up the way in Marion County. He explained how a 911 call is routed through the Sheriff’s office to a Fire Station. The type of vehicle (truck or ambulance) that arrives for a 911 call depends on the information given by the caller and the availability of vehicles at the nearest fire station. Fire Stations often support each other – if one district is heavily tasked, a truck or ambulance from a neighboring area may respond.
There is no difference in medical care whether a fire truck or an ambulance responds. The only difference is that an ambulance can transport the patient to the hospital. That’s it. So, if you call 911 for medical support, don’t be surprised by a fire truck arriving. Their medical staff is just as qualified as those in an ambulance.
Jason also explained that integrating EMS into Fire Rescue did not affect our taxes at all. All EMS responses (whether via a fire truck or ambulance) are billed to the user just like the private Nature Coast EMS company used to. Now, however, every fire station can respond to a medical emergency.