One parent's gratitude to MedEvac systemYour article about...

LETTERS

September 24, 1995

One parent's gratitude to MedEvac system

Your article about the State Police MedEvac program Sept. 11 came out the day after my 6-year-old son was flown in one of its helicopters to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center for possible back/neck/brain injury.

Patrick fell six to seven feet off the top of an inflatable moon walk apparatus our neighbors had rented for their son's birthday party.

I was the first adult to reach Patrick; he was unconscious. . . . Perhaps all the advanced First Aid I took way back in college took over. I began to examine my son, beginning with his head. His one eye was fixed but the other was off to the right. He soon came around but was very groggy, yet wanting to get up. We kept him still until the paramedics arrived from the Westminster station. While they were immobilizing his neck and back, he complained about his right eye feeling weird. That was when the paramedic made the decision to have Patrick transported by air to Johns Hopkins Children's Center. I rode with Patrick in the ambulance to the waiting aircraft a few minutes away. . . . The flight paramedic, TFC Dan Cornwall, . . . was given the rundown on Patrick's condition in the back of the ambulance with my husband and I there. Because our son was stable, I was allowed to ride with him. . . .

Once inside the aircraft, Dan hooked Patrick up to oxygen and made sure he remained in stable condition. I was given a headset to protect my ears from the roar of the blades and to enable me to hear any instructions or to speak to Dan. He told me Patrick could come see the helicopter at their base after he got out of the hospital. I vowed to myself he would.

I held my son's hand throughout the 10-minute flight to the hospital, while I thought about how just a few short hours before we were helping in our church soup kitchen. . . .

Thankfully, our story has a happy ending. All Patrick's tests came out normal and he spent only one night in the hospital for observation. He has to take it easy for a week, but that's nothing compared to what could have happened. . . .

It is a comfort to know that the State Police MedEvac program is there to save those precious moments that could mean the difference between life and death for your child. And that there is a competent and experienced staff at Johns Hopkins Children's Center to complete your child's care.

As a parent of a child who has had to use the system, I thank all of you for being there, including the local paramedic who was first on the scene.

$ Patricia Holbert Westminster

Fallfest unfriendly to homebrewers

Your editorial of Aug. 25 ("The Boutique Beer Boom") was of particular interest to me not only as an enthusiastic beer consumer reveling in the current "boutique," brewpub and microbrewery surge, but also as a homebrewer and organizer of the Midnight Homebrewers League, a homebrew club.

It was also with a lot of irony that your paper editorialized in favor of the craft-brewing phenomenon (which . . . I believe must include the popular and growing craft of homebrewing) after my recent experience with the city's Department of Recreation regarding Fallfest.

Our homebrew club, located in Westminster, has been organized for about a year. We currently have 32 members in and around Carroll County who pay the whopping sum of $5 per year for a newsletter and a few other small benefits. The Midnight Homebrewers League, one of no less than 10 such clubs organized in the state, is Carroll County's only homebrew club and is registered with and recognized by the American Homebrewers Association. We view our club's mission as primarily one of education -- educating each other in better brewing techniques to make better beers; promoting and expanding homebrewing as a hobby by informing the public about the craft and science of homebrewing; and, as importantly, promoting the responsible consumption of beer as an alcoholic beverage. I am our club's newsletter editor, and, by default, keeper of the club's membership records.

. . . Some of us naively thought it would be a great club event to get a booth at Westminster's Fallfest (held this weekend) to promote the existence of our club and educate people in the craft of homebrewing. No beer, just displays of equipment and ingredients, education about the brewing process and some homebrewing literature including magazines and our own newsletter to give away. And since the cooler fall temperatures generally represent the beginning of the brewing "season," we thought our club would have been an all-the-more appropriate addition to Fallfest.

So, in response to several notices in The Sun soliciting vendors and non-profit groups to participate in Fallfest, I called the Department of Recreation to inquire about a non-profit booth. Our group is almost non-income, let alone non-profit, but we do not have any formal status as a non-profit organization.

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