Money well spent on lifesavers

This past month I had to make the difficult decision to move from Minnesota to Pennsylvania to live with family. Through the past five-plus years I’ve been battling cancer, which has resulted in numerous other medical problems, but mainly living with one lung. My health continues to decline and the weather has taken its toll on me. I’ve always had visions of ending up in hell at the end, but I don’t want to finish my last days with one foot in.

On July 13 I needed to venture out in the heat to pick up a couple things at the grocery store. I was experiencing breathing difficulties, but I thought I could handle it.

When I returned to my place I knew I was in trouble and hoped I would could make it inside for a breathing treatment. Within moments I knew it wasn’t working and I was gasping for breath and starting to lose it. I quickly dialed 911 and tried to explain what was happening, but it was difficult and I had to drop the phone at times. The dispatcher treated me kindly (and I apologize for treating him like an ex-husband) and assured me help was on the way.

Within moments, the Elk River Police Department arrived and took fast action. It was comforting to see Dan’s familiar face and the other two whose names I can’t remember. Dan calmly kept me breathing and had me continue with the medicine and then had me do a second until my breathing became less labored.

In the meantime, the other two officers checked to make sure my cat didn’t get out, put away my groceries and stood by until Elk River Fire and Rescue arrived. Again, I apologize for the place looking like an episode of “Hoarders,” but I am moving. During this time another “breathing difficulty and car accident” call came over the radio and other officers were able to respond to those, so it is reassuring to know the ERPD are able to handle multiple calls.

The Elk River Fire and Rescue crew were fantastic and continued treatment until the hospital and kept me talking and kept me comfortable. With them in control, I knew I was going to make ol’ Beezlebub wait for me.

Too often many conversations regarding the police have a negative statement attached to it when people complain about “tickets they didn’t deserve, cops don’t do anything or the donut jokes.” Now I can tell them what little they know about a police officer’s job. Don’t want a ticket? Don’t break the law!

From the bottom of my heart I say thank you! I can end my journey where I belong, with family.

And lastly, as a former city of Elk River building inspector (eight years ago) I witnessed a lot of waste and abuse in certain departments when that money could have and should have been spent on the police force. They save lives and protect as our city grows.

The building industry has taken a major hit and yet a full department is being funded and police go without. So next time there is a new officer hired or equipment bought, the next person’s life they save may be yours or a loved one’s! This is where your tax dollars need to be spent. — Terry Tousignant, Elk River

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