Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Sherwood Stockwell

On Thursday we watched the tragic news about how Hurricane Katrina left thousands homeless and brought emergency services to a halt. Early the next morning we were faced with our own emergency. Two years ago, we had a similar problem. Then, it was with some hesitation that I called 911. My respect for police, fire and ambulance vehicles was a distant one, believing that, of course, they were responding to some one else’s troubles. There was also the fear of sounding a false alarm. On Friday, I knew better. The two experiences have left us with the greatest respect for and trust in the emergency care services in Vail Valley. In both cases, we can’t praise enough the people and the systems that provide lifesaving support. Everyone must understand how great these public servers are. From the very first 911 call, everyone in the loop provided an assurance, a true concern and what has to be a love of humanity that goes far beyond themselves. Our obvious initial fright was quickly eased by the expertise of the paramedics and ambulance drivers. In moments, vital signs were recorded and life-saving techniques put in place. Communications between the paramedics and the emergency room at the Vail Valley Medical Center alerted the hospital as to our condition and prepared the emergency staff for our arrival. A fire engine and crew stood by to assist the ambulance staff. The doctors and nurses of the emergency room not only showed the same sense of concern but also quickly brought to bear their in-depth knowledge. In the first experience, they stabilized their patient and then prescribed specialists in Denver. The same ambulance crew made a successful trip through a growing winter storm. Last Friday’s diagnosis led to surgery and a bed in the Vail Valley Medical Center. The doctor and hospital personnel continued that same smiling, unselfish care that first began with a call to 911. The names of all that helped would fill another column. As a group they receive our grateful thanks. More important, as dedicated public servers they deserve the praise and support of all of us in the valley. In the face of all the recent national and worldwide tragedies, we must understand how lucky we are.Sherwood StockwellWolcottNuthin’ for freeWhen I first heard that people over 70 could ski for free in Vail, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Reaching that age to reap the benefits of just staying alive for 70 years became a major goal for me. I stopped playing football to save my knees … . That was 1975. During that year, people were introducing us to their pet rocks, disco music was just taking shape, a company called Microsoft was formed, and fuel was expensive at $1.55 per gallon. Thirty years later, disco is a joke, I haven ‘t seen a pet rock in years, and wish I could find gasoline for $1.55 per gallon. …I’m 50 now and still looking forward to being 70. I accept the fact that I’m getting older, no one owes me anything, and nothing comes for free. Jon Silver Boulder Vail, Colorado