Steve Marshall: Thanks to Yampa EMTs

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With all of the complaining about changes in our Yampa Valley - bitterness about development and political rancor I read daily and weekly in this area of the newspaper - I thought I would offer a different viewpoint on one of the wonderful qualities of living here and centered on the most important item in anyone's life - your health.

In addition, I would like to extend some unadulterated recognition to some people for a job well done.

On Aug. 11, I had the unique opportunity to test the emergency services safety net in Steamboat, and I am here to report that it works extremely well. I had the misfortune to snag a branch off some deadfall on one of the mountain biking trails on Emerald Mountain while riding downhill. It pierced my arm and "unhorsed" me quite abruptly and left me sitting in the middle of the trail dazed, confused and bleeding.

Fortunately for me, I never ride alone or without a first-aid kit. My riding partner that day, Kris Fowler, also happened to be an EMT and quickly stabilized the situation with the assistance of three other riders - Jim, T.J. and Jackie. Since the impalement of my arm was the only injury incurred, I thought I could walk out and down to my car and then go to the hospital. I could not. Every attempt produced lightheadedness, and it was not possible.

At that time, T.J. called 911. This call mobilized Routt County Search and Rescue and an ambulance. Within minutes, a Search and Rescue team of Jeannie (Barnett) Powers, Bobby Davis, Krista Hill, Randall Hannaway (and two other people who I didn't know, but would like to thank) were on site and getting me ready to transport to Blackmere Drive. Your team members were great, improvising in a tough situation, especially since I was starting to be in a lot of pain and you kept me laughing all the way to the road. (Thank you, Jim Linville, for transporting my bike down the hill and especially for the warm greeting at the gate.)

Jeannie and Bobby stayed with me in the ambulance, and we were at the Yampa Valley Medical Center emergency room within a few minutes. Thank you, Dr. Bookman, Mona, Dena, Jennie and Tom - you did a great job of reassuring me that my arm was not broken and that I was essentially OK, save for the hole in my arm.

The next tip of the hat goes to the day surgery crew - Kim, Jeanette and Drs. Sisk and Johnson. You made me comfortable while I waited for an OR to clean out my wound. I went home that night and I am healing nicely; ready to ride another day.

All in all, a very favorable outcome to what could have been a no good, very bad day.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the day's events - it is very comforting to know that there are many qualified and caring people, professional and non-professional alike, who maintain the safety net for emergency services in this town.

Steve Marshall

Steamboat Springs

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