Candidate Views: Anita Hand
Since this is an election year, the Catron Courier is reaching out to candidates to ask their opinions. This month we’ve asked about what can Catron Commissioners do about the Fire and EMS volunteer shortages the county faces. An answer below comes from Anita Hand: with other volunteers it is.
I need to know about those problems to alleviate any concern that departments are not getting what they need to protect the community in cases of medical emergencies and fire calls.
I also believe that we need to make sure our first responders are confident that, when on a fire or ems call, they are safe and secure in adequate communications with dispatch, who is our lifeline in times of emergent situation. The communication crisis we are in right now is serious. We
to have adequate communication with dispatch and law enforcement. This is a priority for me and has been. Our infrastructure in the county needs an upgrade and we need to be able to identify the problem and fix it as soon as possible.
To all of the volunteers, a huge thank you. Without your willingness to serve our communities would not have fire or emergency medical help when needed. Please call or email me with your concerns. To the community members who have concerns the same, call or email me: 575-519-2502 or anita.hand@catroncountyn m.gov ◊◊◊
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to our volunteer crisis in the EMS and Fire departments across the County. I have a unique perspective as I am also a volunteer.
As an EMT and Fire Chief in Datil the volunteer situation is bad. When engaging in a conversation with community members on the importance of volunteering, the popular response is “the county doesn’t respect volunteers and make it nearly impossible to have the means to volunteer” and “I hear that it is nearly impossible for departments to get supplies because the purchasing process is so complicated and the office is an office of no”.
As a commissioner this is disturbing. We, the commission, must do everything we can to remove the negative connotation that the county does not respect volunteers. We have to remember that our volunteers volunteer their time around family and work commitments. The process shouldn’t be hard and for some it isn’t but from my discussion