Can­di­date Views: Anita Hand

Catron Courier - - News -

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

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