VIDEO: Emergency Medical Response Gets Māʻalaea Station
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3YeHeU4XqA /] By Wendy Osher
Emergency Medical Services on Maui will expand to include a unit in Māʻalaea that will provide services 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.
Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 498 into law today, appropriating $600,000 for the next two fiscal years to provide the service. Funds will be used for the acquisition of a vehicle, equipment, and personnel costs.
“The population as you know, of this area, has significantly increased, and it’s important–and I underscore that word–to provide timely response to emergencies,” said Gov. Abercrombie in comments before signing the bill today.
“Distance is everything. So this emergency medical service is kind of taken for granted elsewhere in the country; and in some respects can be taken for granted because the majority of the population is on Oʻahu. But that doesn’t reflect the present day realities, with the burgeoning population coming to the neighbor islands, particularly on Maui,” said Abercrombie.
In reference to the debate over location of future hospitals and the need for more medical services on the island, the governor said, “The one thing that you can’t argue about is if you don’t have the emergency medical service, it really doesn’t matter a whole lot about where the hospital is located because it may be too late to begin with.”
The governor credited David Kingdon, a paramedic and EMS trainer at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, with coming forward with the idea.
“This is in direct response to people who know what they’re talking about; who know from experience (and) can exercise judgement; and gave the legislators the confidence that if they put these bills forward they wouldn’t stumble–that there was a case to be made,” said Abercrombie.