To the Editor:
I worked for 10 years in Oak Bluffs on the ambulance service, first as a volunteer and then as a regular. I began when Chief Alley ran the service, and retired when John Rose had been chief for about seven years. In that period of time the service grew, due to town size and also the fact that we were doing all transports both on- and off-Island, by ambulance and MedFlights.
To me it was the job of a lifetime, taking care of very sick patients and getting them to definitive care in a safe and caring manner. It involved interaction with the hospital, staff, and doctors.
Every month John would get together with staff and the hospital to do reviews, always trying to improve care. John spent many hours in meetings trying to work out details involving firefighter safety. He even saw the need of investing in a bus for fire rehab, which we used to rehab firefighters on scene with fluids, snacks, oxygen, recording of their vitals, etc. John also made it known that we would be available to any town on the Island that requested it. The first time we were requested was for the fire in Menemsha at the Coast Guard Station.
I found John to be a very self-effacing, humble, forward thinker, and one that holds community as his top priority. He also did end-of-summer picnics, mini golf, and dinner parties to keep morale up.