I have read Columbia Countys Annual Report 2003. I am proud to see emergency services highlighted on the cover and within the brochure. Since Sept. 11, 2001, our country has been under a heightened threat of terrorism from various foreign and domestic groups bent on crippling or destroying America as we know it. Our nation, state and community are preparing and training to foil these attempts and/or to respond to attacks in a manner that reduces the loss of life and injuries. This training and preparation is extremely important and should not be taken lightly.
All citizens of our great nation are faced with life-threatening incidents on a daily basis. Auto accidents, fire and various crimes occur without warning in all communities. While these incidents cannot be eliminated by the governing body of the community, the way the incidents are responded to by public safety personnel can be, and is, controlled by the local governing body. There are many areas in our state that do not have an ambulance service, adequate police and fire protection or a 911 system.
I am proud to say that Columbia County is more advanced than most counties when it comes to the safety and welfare of its citizens. Our fire, sheriff and police departments, ambulance service and 911 communications center have the best equipment, supervision and training of any community anywhere.
I would like to thank our commissioners, county administrator, EMA director and other elected officials for their efforts in making Columbia County a safer place to live. Also, to the fire, police, EMS and dispatch personnel who respond to our needs, thank you, and may God bless and protect you in all you do in serving our county.
Thomas R. Schneider
(Thomas R. Schneider is CEO of Gold Cross EMS.)
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