Trauma workers make most of 'platinum' timeUshering...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Trauma workers make most of 'platinum' time

Ushering a parent from the 12th-story heliport into a hospital's critical care waiting area, as his or her child is unloaded from a Maryland State Police MedEvac helicopter, can be one of the toughest parts of caring for pediatric trauma patients.

Often these parents have watched a son or daughter change from a healthy, happy child to a critically injured one while riding a bike, crossing the street, swimming or engaging in other activities that can turn a daily experience into the cause of a child's death.

These parents come with only one thought: Will my child survive? Thanks to the efficient and skilled work of the Maryland State Police MedEvac paramedics, Maryland children will have a better chance of survival following a traumatic injury.

In response to Tom Keyser's Sept. 11 article in The Sun, "MedEvac fights relentless foe -- time," we would like to add our thanks and praise to the many paramedics and pilots who provide expert care to the hundreds of children flown to the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center each year.

Time is essential when caring for these pediatric trauma patients. The "golden hour" time frame used in caring for adults is shortened to the "platinum half-hour" when caring for children. With the critical time factor and the emotional impact that surrounds pediatric trauma, MedEvac paramedics have repeatedly used strong clinical and communication skills in stabilizing and transporting critically ill and injured children.

No one ever plans to utilize the Maryland State Police MedEvac service. However, if the time comes when we need this service, it is reassuring to know there are dedicated and caring professionals ready to help. The physicians, nurses, social workers and other health care providers of the Johns Hopkins Children's Trauma Service would like to take this opportunity to thank the MedEvac paramedics for their hard work and dedication.

'Charles N. Paidas, M.D.

Baltimore

The writer is the director of the Pediatric Trauma Center at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

WWII stories appreciated

I really appreciated The Sun's fine coverage of the 50th anniversary of World War II.

For the last five years, I have read The Sun's detailed historical accounts of all the battles, with interviews of eyewitnesses, pictures and maps. This great detail, week after week, from start to finish, gave me a better understanding of the scope, size and impact of the war, more so than any books about it that I have read. Thank you.

Craig N. Schelle

Baltimore

Grasmick committed to higher education

Gov. Parris Glendening's announcement of the State Board of Education's reappointment of Nancy Grasmick (as superintendent) once again demonstrates his support of progressive education enhancement in Maryland.

Throughout her tenure, Dr. Grasmick has demonstrated her commitment to prepare our children to be successful in a global economy.

The governor recently stated that reforms to education, when implemented, have a permanent effect on society. Dr. Grasmick's initiative, intellect and leadership will certainly enable accelerated education reform in Maryland, which is sure to result in a strong future for Maryland's children, and, therefore, our communities.

The citizens of Maryland can feel comfortable that Dr. Grasmick's reappointment is one of the best things that could happen to education in Maryland.

John R. Allen III

Baltimore

F8

The writer is president, Maryland Congress of PTAs.

Kids' welfare -- or teachers'

Nicole Fall's Sept. 14 letter began with the words "please correct me if I am wrong."

It exemplified the dilemma in public education today. Is education about children's learning or teachers' welfare?

As of now, the best job amenities anywhere and generous compensation have not improved children's learning.

Forrest Gesswein Jr.

Parkville

The mayor's inane hypocrisy

How can Kurt Schmoke speak of "the need for some healing" and then profess to keep Daniel Henson III on as his housing commissioner? Mr. Schmoke should wake up and smell the coffee before he utters such inane, hypocritical statements. Sadly, to this reader, come November it sounds like four more years of business as usual.

Gail Castleman

Baltimore

Crabbing limits hit amateurs hardest

Who is really affected by the recently imposed crabbing restrictions?

Certainly not the commercial crabber, since most of them use crab pots to trap their catch.

If they are prohibited from working these traps one day per week, they will simply harvest two days' worth of crabs on the following day.

As many of these watermen have up to 500 traps in the water, it is certain that they will not be required to remove them from the water on the restricted days. This would put them out of business for up to three days.

The only reduction in catch will be the crabs usually caught by trot line. This loss will be more than compensated for with an increase in the number of pots that will be put into operation.

The people bearing the brunt of these rules are once again the private citizens, the little guys known as recreational crabbers. They will be restricted to crabbing only three days per week (Friday through Sunday); that's a four-day restriction as compared to the one day for commercial watermen.

These recreational crabbers are the ones who are allowed by law take a maximum of two bushels per day per boat and who, in most instances, take much less. These are not the guys taking unlimited amounts each day.

Furthermore, unlike the commercial crabber, the recreational crabber cannot catch crabs or place his gear (restricted to folding traps that cannot hold crabs captive, and trot lines) in the water until after 5:30 a.m. Also, they must remove their gear jTC before sunset each day. This time restriction was placed on recreational crabbers last year, whereas no such restriction was placed on the watermen.

You are sure to hear the watermen screaming "ouch," but you can be certain that it is meant only to keep Big Brother in Annapolis from pinching them any harder.

Add this action to the growing list of follies committed by the Glendening administration.

Wayne Croft

Parkton

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