Letters to the Editor

I'll vote yes for fire agency that saved me

Thanks to the swift and sure response of the Federal Way Fire Department’s emergency medical team, I am alive and will be able to vote “yes” on Proposition 1 on Sept. 16. That is the Fire Department’s replacement levy (no new taxes), funds needed for the department to continue to provide outstanding emergency medical and firefighting services.

My story: On Thursday afternoon, Aug. 21, I was stung on the tongue by a yellow jacket bee. Within minutes I had a swollen tongue and was beginning to feel faint. I sat down and then lay down and requested a call to 9-1-1. The fire truck arrived within several minutes. By that time I was in deep shock, a condition called anaphylaxis.

The medics and EMTs quickly determined that I had no measurable blood pressure –– not a good thing. They administered a shot of adrenaline (epinephrine) to stimulate my heart and circulation system and began giving me fluids intravenously. Two additional emergency vehicles arrived, and since I was still not stabilized, they gave me an additional dose of adrenaline and set up a portable ER on the grass. After 30 minutes I was stable enough to be transported to St. Francis Hospital’s emergency room, where I was evaluated and given more fluids.

The ER physician informed me that I was fortunate to be alive, and that without the swift and sure response of the Fire Department, I would not have survived.

I now carry on my person a dose of adrenaline in case I were to be stung by a bee again. That’s a small inconvenience to endure, I think.

So what is the message? It is that a medical emergency could visit any one of us or our loved ones at any time. Our best defense in case of such an emergency is the Fire Department’s superbly trained medical response team.

How do we ensure they are there for us in case of an emergency? We vote “yes” on Sept. 16 for the department’s replacement levy. They are eager to serve and incredibly capable of doing so.

My thanks to the men and women of the Federal Way Fire Department. You saved my life.

Bill Feldt

Federal Way

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