Ambulance transfers are not timely


In response to a letter from Francine Agnolie (“Review of emergency transportation needed,” June 29) where she pushed for a review of emergency transportation off-Island.

To the Editor:

I came back to the Island in 1974, and joined the nursing staff in ICU in the then new hospital.

Back then, our patients who needed to be transferred would be transported by their town ambulance. They would travel to the mainland, to the Falmouth fire station. They would be met by a Boston ambulance, and taken to MGH or whatever Boston hospital they needed to go to.

Before Boston MedFlight became available, myself or one of my fellow nurses would fly a patient to Boston via Angel Flight or a private airline, which would make the urgent transfer to Boston.

When Boston MedFlight became available, they would land in the Emergency Room parking lot. A generous benefactor came forward and paid for the helipad we use today.

Massachusetts General Hospital has brought to our once “Island hospital” increases in healthcare services, yet access to a physician is almost nonexistent, and timely transfers cannot happen if the ambulance has to come from the mainland to our emergency room. That is a delay from one to two hours. I am proud of the care we gave our patients back when I worked there. It is not to say that our current administration isn’t doing its best, but this is not Boston, but Martha’s Vineyard.


Mary Ellen Larsen, R.N., ret.