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Ambulance captain tells Catskills residents: Get prescriptions filled now
By Lissa Harris
10/27/12 - 1:41 pm
10/27/12 - 1:41 pm
Photo by Flickr user Dvortygirl. Published under Creative Commons license.
Rich Muellerleile, captain of the Shandaken Ambulance Service (and author of the Watershed Post's safety column, Stayin' Alive), has a message for Catskills residents: If you need medication, make sure you have at least a week's supply on hand now.
"If you have meds that you're going to need to order, put the order in now," he said.
For people living on remote roads or behind private bridges, the threat of being cut off from the outside world by flooding is very real. During the Irene floods, residents in Shandaken's Oliverea Valley were stranded for days after floodwaters cut a 50-foot ravine across Oliverea Road.
Shandaken first responders were able to get essential medications to stranded people with ATVs during Irene, but the effort taxed the department to its limits, Muellerleile said.
"It was a huge strain, because we had to compile lists, we had to then fill the scripts, and then we had to get it back out to these individuals via ATV, going through some pretty terrible conditions. You're putting responders at risk doing that," he said. "We had one instance where we had to get a rare medication special-ordered and it had to remain refrigerated. We were able to get it to the person, but logistically, it was something that honestly really put a strain on us."
The Phoenicia Pharmacy is open until 3:30pm today, and weather permitting, will be getting a delivery on Monday, Muellerleile said.
The advice to have necessary medication on hand applies to people not just in Shandaken, but around the Catskills.
"If people are a little bit more proactive and can get out before Monday hits -- we're looking at Tuesday being the bad day -- they're going to be that much more ahead of the curve," Muellerleile said.
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