The Baltimore Sun

Making flights safer is key to saving lives

The editorial "Support for medevacs" (Nov. 28) focuses on the need to change the criteria used by EMTs when they decide to fly patients instead of driving them to the hospital.

As a volunteer firefighter and EMT, I understand how difficult this on-the-spot decision can be. However, I'd like to remind readers that the Trooper 2 helicopter did not crash because the victims on board had what the media have often deemed minor injuries.

I believe Trooper 2 crashed because of its outdated technology on board and an inexperienced dispatcher who was not able to help the veteran pilot land safely in deteriorating weather conditions.

The majority of the news coverage of this controversy continues to focus on changing the protocols first responders use in order to decrease the number of medevac flights ("Panel supports fewer medevac flights," Nov. 26). But this would not save many lives.

To save lives, we have to ensure that everyone involved in the flight has proper training and beef up weather-related restrictions on medevac flights.

More important, we have to better equip our aircraft to ensure that a fatal crash never happens again.

Olga Maltseva, Baltimore

The writer is a volunteer for the Cockeysville Fire Co.

Citibank dug itself into a huge hole

I was appalled to read that the government is pumping $20 billion more into Citigroup ("Rationale for saving Citi," Nov. 25). This makes the grand total of taxpayer dollars given to just this bank almost $50 billion.

The article notes that "Citigroup was hit especially hard by the meltdown in risky subprime mortgages made to people with tarnished credit or low incomes."

What it failed to mention is that Citigroup led the charge in making those types of loans almost a decade and a half ago when federal restrictions over lending institutions were reduced to help fuel the economy.

Countless grassroots groups have marched in front of Citi's headquarters over the past decade, proclaiming to any who would listen that the bank preys on those with low incomes and poor credit.

I agree that the collapse of Citigroup would do great damage to the global economy.

But the bank never should have been allowed to dig the hole it has dug for itself.

Jeffery Beck, Joppa

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