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50 years ago this month; 55 town residents formed Mt. Pleasant Fire Department. I’m proud to say I am one of them.

We built two fire stations. One on Highway 31 and 11 and one in Lake Park. The Lake Park station served the eastern section of the town to Meachem Rd. faithfully for 49 years and seven months. But as of January 6, 2014, the Lake Park station has been closed due to budget cuts.

The decision of the village board to close the station leaves Lakeside, Lake Park & Sheridan Woods 4.5 miles from the nearest Mt. Pleasant fire station on Braun Road and Highway 31. Let’s put that into perspective, we have four fire stations closer to us than the station that will be our first responder. That’s three stations in Racine and one in Somers on Highway E.

Being a fire fighter and EMT for 25 years I know the standard utilized by a host of governing EMS organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA): the initial arrival of EMS within 6 minutes allowing for a 4 minute travel time. The AMA notes every minute of delay has a huge negative impact on survival.

The AMA indicates that brain death starts to occur 4-6  minutes after an individual stops breathing.  The AHA also indicates for every minute the passes without medical intervention the patient’s chances of survival drop 7 to 10 percent. Resuscitation after 10 minutes is rarely successful.

The village board took away our quality of life. Ten to 14 minutes for fire and rescue is unacceptable. Call your village board and demand they give us the same chance of survival as their families.

Ken Otwaska
Mount Pleasant

Editor’s Note: Supporters of re-opening Station 7 have established a Facebook page.

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