Recent Ranch Incident Pulls Community Together
By Michelle Minion

At a time when our county, and community and even SFTR have gotten so much negative publicity and criticism from individuals who are ignorant of the facts and disseminate outright false information in order to further their political goals, I am delighted to share with you an example of how the good people of this ranch, city and county responded to an emergency situation right here on the ranch.

On Saturday, March 27, one of our neighbors sustained critical injuries when involved in a dirt bike accident on Owen Baldwin Parkway.  He was on his way to a water committee meeting.  (He has served for many years as committee member and has shared expertise as an engineer.)  Fortunately, he was found down and semiconscious, by Rick and Carolyn Johnson.  As most of us know, the Johnsons are dedicated officers and fire fighters, and have been largely responsible for the MEGA-sized changes in our Fishers Peak Fire Protection District.  They have also participated exhaustively on POA committees and board issues.  They quickly took action, called 911, did not move the victim, and called Suzy Davis who is an emergency deptartment registered nurse, and a member of the Emergency Services Committee on SFTR.  Suzy and Jim monitored the victim's vital signs, assured immobilization, and communicated with the EMS paramedics while they were in route and upon arrival at the scene.  Two firefighters, Mike Shelton and Chuck Austin, heard the radio call and responded according to the Emergency Services plan by driving to the gate to assist the ambulance.  Eddie Geiske, Fishers Peak dispatch, called me.  Since I was over 10 minutes away, I called Betty Withington (EMT).  She and Jerry (board member) immediately went to the scene to offer assistance.

The paramedics were swift and effective at initially evaluating and continuing proper treatment.  The Johnsons drove to the victim's home and brought his wife to the accident scene.  From there the EMS delivered him to Mt.  San Rafael Hospital where the Emergency Department physicians, nurses, lab and radiology personnel expediently evaluated and treated the patient, arranged helicopter transfer to Parkview Hospital and arranged for the necessary specialist to meet the patient in that Emergency Department.  Our neighbor is now past the critical 72-hour period and, thanks to the response of the above mentioned individuals, agencies, and facilities, has the best possible opportunity for recovery.

The reason that this story does not have a tragic ending is because individuals on the SFTR, in the city of Trinidad, county of Las Animas, and Mt.  San Rafael Hospital have spent significant time training for just such an incident.  Much of this training time has been on a volunteer basis.

I have been saddened by recent negative publicity the county, city, hospital, and Ranch have received by individuals running for public office.

I am DAMN proud to be a resident of this county, ranch, medical community, and a business owner in the city.  I am grateful to my neighbors who spend VOLUMES of time, effort and money in sincere efforts to improve what is already a fine community.

I am also grateful to two individuals who are running for public office.  Their public displays of TOXIC NEGATIVISM have made my decision with regard to voting in upcoming elections extremely easy.