To the editor: An open letter to AOT Secretary Flynn from Londonderry Rescue

Dear Secretary Flynn:

The motto on the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s web page says: “Providing for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.” Unfortunately, VT RT 11 between Londonderry and Chester does none of those things and is, in fact, a very dangerous stretch of road for our patients and for our ambulance crews.

VT Route 11 is our lifeline to Springfield Hospital.

In 2016, we transported 169 patients to Springfield, many of them critically ill or injured. Our average per year to Springfield is 167. RT 11 has deteriorated so much that when we are carrying critical patients we are unable to drive faster than 30-40 mph. It is too dangerous to provide patient care in a safe way at higher speeds. The road is too rough. For trauma patients with fractures the pain of transport is excruciating. For stroke or cardiac patients, we need to pull over to the side of the road to perform intravenous therapy safely or to record accurate EKG’s. Driving slow and stopping the ambulance delays arrival at the hospital. In emergency medical services, time is critical to patient outcome. Minutes literally count.

We are excited to hear that RT 11 is scheduled for a major rebuild, but we are dismayed that it will not happen until 2019. We honestly doubt the road will make it that long. The frost heaves in the winter are unbelievably large and numerous. The pavement is crumbling and peeling up. A temporary fix has been proposed to skim pave two miles of the road, which is simply not enough to make a difference for our patients. According to the VTrans Pavement Condition website, the last time the road was worked on was 2008. In 2009, its composite index was listed as 78.14 (good). By 2010 the composite index dropped back to very poor at 37.53. The skim paving did nothing after one winter. The 2016 index was 19.7, and the road deteriorated significantly over the last winter.

Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Service urges the State Agency of Transportation to accelerate the road rebuilding to 2018. Our patients’ care depends on it.

Sincerely,

The Executive Committee
Londonderry Rescue
Pete Cobb
Vicky Collingwood
Wilma Tremarco
Marge Fish, Doug Friant

 

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  1. Sheryl Fratino says:

    I fully agree with the rescue squad. I often travel back and forth to Londonderry and Manchester visiting grandchildren. This section of road is truly dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. I needed to be transported by ambulance last year after an auto accident and I know for a fact that I’m not sure I would have survived had they needed to take me on that road. This road will not survive until 2019.

  2. Aleks Hunter says:

    One of the governor’s go-to talking points is that the safety of Vermonters is his top priority. His action or inaction on Rt. 11 will prove whether or not he actually means it.