To the editor:

I am writing to lend my support for the PCEMS levy and ask you to support it also. Back in 1974, I was one of the original squad members making runs when Putnam County EMS began. Being a squad member for over ten years, I got to see the dedication, training, and compassionate care given to patients all around the county. I also know of the stress experienced by EMS personnel as they try to relieve the pain and suffering of those in need.

On Nov. 26, 2008, I experienced being on the "other side of the fence" when my heart stopped without any warning. If not for the quick actions of my wife beginning CPR and the quick response of EMS personnel, I might not be here to ask for your support. Their talent along with those of dispatch, fire, and police, all were part of the chain of survival that allows me to write this.

Knowing the levy will provide supplemental help for the volunteers to reduce response times, and provide community training in the form of CPR and First Aid, give me the confidence to ask you to join me in supporting this levy.

Seeing the EMS from both sides has made me realize that we cannot take that resource for granted. We need to strengthen Putnam County EMS to guarantee this vital service is available to answer the call. Please vote "YES" on Nov. 5.

David J. Odenweller

Ottawa