Complaining just for fun

Sometimes I wonder if the people who complain about the paper in “30 Seconds” actually take the time to read it.

That may sound like a mean thing to say, but after reading the online version of “30 Seconds” yesterday, I almost wanted to cry. I was left wondering if some of the posters take the time to read the paper before they post about what is or is not in it, or if that would seem like a waste of time.

After weeks of work and countless stories on the possible change of Sherburne’s ambulance service from a volunteer based service to a municipal based service, there were still comments in “30 Seconds” saying “if it was in the paper, I didn’t see it.”

Well, in fact it was in the paper. Not just once or twice, but multiple times. To date, I have personally written seven articles on the topic, (six since the beginning of the year) and while I don’t expect everyone to read everything in the paper, I don’t think I would complain about a lack of articles on a topic if I hadn’t bothered to look for them first.

That’s one of my newest pet peeves, and hearing the misguided opinions some people have about these topics has created it.

With Sherburne’s ambulance issue, I’ve heard opinions from several people over the last few months, and while everyone is entitled to their opinion, there were several that I just couldn’t agree with.

One of the opinions I’ve heard spouted the most is that during these difficult economic times, charging for ambulance calls is a bad move, and that volunteers should step up to support the community. Maybe in a perfect world that would be true, but today that is harder and harder to do. The number of volunteers who sign up to give their time and effort to the community is dwindling and as Chenango’s population ages, the demand for ambulance service is probably going to increase. The economy is in bad shape, but how does that warrant asking a very few individuals in the community to leave their jobs and lose some money every time an emergency call goes out, just so the people in need of that service don’t have to pay for it?

The Village Board, the fire department and an ambulance committee made up of citizens, village and town board members and fire department members worked long and hard to determine the best course of action, and they aren’t the first local municipality to do so. Other areas in Chenango County also bill for their ambulance service and have been doing so for some time. The reality is if some paid personnel are needed to cover the shifts that the volunteers cannot man, the department needs to get some revenue to do that or leave those in the area without a reliable ambulance service.

There are options and avenues the department can take to make the billing issue easier for the taxpayers to handle, and those issues will be discussed by committee members and probably detailed right here in The Evening Sun.

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