What follows is my first hand, on-the-job experience of the distinct, immediate, continued and expanded need for funding for the Georgia Emergency Trauma Care Services at hospitals in Savannah and selectively positioned other areas in our state:
On June 10, as I approached the Bamboo Gardens on Hwy. 17 southbound I saw what appeared to be an automobile accident of some sort about 200 yards ahead of me. As I got closer the severity of the accident became apparent.
A full-sized SUV was overturned on its top with glass everywhere.
A second vehicle was severely crushed, with half the front gone.
After getting out of my truck I soon found that occupants of both vehicles were trapped inside their vehicles.
911 had already been called.
As I walked into this chaotic scene, I saw several cars ahead of me, many almost at the impact point of the collision, doors swiftly opening as drivers without hesitation began working in an attempt to rescue the injured.
Several rescuers, some in military fatigues, were attending to the needs of the injured in both vehicles.
In the overturned SUV, rescuers were pulling and prying at a broken windshield to get to a trapped child who they could see through the window. They soon lifted the badly shaken up - but not crying - child up and out through the broken windshield. Rescuers, some reaching and all but completely going into the badly damaged interior, got the driver out from behind activated air bags.
The second vehicle’s occupant was trapped behind the steering wheel but the door had been opened and she was being comforted as other rescuers stood by with fire extinguishers, over and around the smoldering and smoking wrecks while waiting for the ‘professional’ calvary-rescuers to arrive.
Police, fireman and ambulances, all a credit to their professions, arrived soon and took charge.
It is at this stage of most traumatic devastating occurrences that Hospital Emergency Trauma Units are of paramount importance to the survival of Georgia’s injured. Any Georgian could be on the needing end of that care, which like a loose unraveling economic cord is unwinding.
This unassuming, very common Georgian was privileged to be in the company of people who cared for the welfare of others and who without hesitation and or regard for their personal safety did what was necessary and right at the accident.
I feel confident that Gov. Perdue and Republican leaders in the House and Senate and all other concerned and responsible leaders will somehow do whatever is necessary to quickly find the money to stop the further unwinding of the economic cord that binds Georgia’s Emergency Trauma Care facilities.
It’s there for all of us as needed, whether it’s of the magnitude of the sugar refinery disaster in Savannah or the auto accident I just described.
So please do the right thing and please do it right now.
Jerry S. Sammons