As you are the chairman of Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE FL), I’d like to share Martin Health System’s position on All Aboard Florida’s potential impact to our patients, physicians, and caregivers.
Martin Health believes that significantly increasing the number and speed of trains passing through downtown Stuart and neighboring communities will result in additional roadway congestion, critical time delays and the increased potential for accidents. These factors could adversely impact the access to and quality of emergency and urgent healthcare services in the region.
All Aboard Florida has yet to demonstrate how it will minimize disruption in downtown Stuart and areas around our facilities, and mitigate safety issues related to the substantial increase in rail traffic through town.
We believe All Aboard Florida must work closer with local officials in each of our communities to ensure that response times for emergency vehicles are not negatively impacted and to mitigate any other potential issues.
Martin Health is committed to providing the best clinical outcomes in emergency situations. Community leaders need to consider the impact to:
Patients emergently being transported to the hospital from the field or other hospitals for emergency care (Cardiac, Stroke, Neurological, OB, Respiratory –slight delays for these types of critical services can result in adverse patient outcomes and possibly death)
Patients being transported by water to our emergency dock and the delays that will occur from the lift cycle of the train trestles.
Patients emergently being transported to other hospitals for higher level emergency care (Trauma, Pediatrics, Burns)
On-call physicians and staff responding to emergency call (OB, Surgery, Cardiac, Neurology)
At a minimum we believe a study is needed to evaluate the impact on emergency response services that address the following concerns:
Are there any crossings that don’t have an alternative route for emergency vehicles to use?
What is the amount of time that a roadway/rail crossing will be blocked on an average day?
What kinds of slowdowns will be caused due to bridge closings?
What is the likelihood that a given emergency responder will be stopped for a train?
What is the potential for extended train breakdowns/accidents?
Until these and other questions and concerns are addressed to our satisfaction, we will oppose this initiative through an ongoing dialog with our local and state legislators, the healthcare community, the local media and the community at-large.
Bill, if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, I or any member of the executive team is available at your convenience. Thank you for your interest and concern on this important community issue.
Vice President, Marketing Communications
Letter from Miguel Coty of Martin Health Systems to CARE FL