Operationally Justified - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1779727

Operationally Justified

In 2009, I was a Southampton Village resident when a fuel oil tank fell on me while I was attempting to carry it down the basement steps of my home on County Road 39A. I was nearly crushed to death.

My father, Chuck MacWhinnie, dialed 911, and the public safety dispatcher sent an immediate response. Within a minute, we had an officer at the door. Within a few minutes, we had multiple officers there.

Of course, Mayor Jesse Warren would say the number of officers who responded was a “waste of taxpayer money.” I wouldn’t. The officers saved my life.

The dispatcher who got the ambulance there so quickly saved my life. The dispatcher who coordinated a Suffolk County helicopter to the landing zone helped save my life.

The Village Police officers, the village ambulance, the Suffolk County Police Department helicopter crew and the local fire departments deserve credit. But it was the Southampton Village public safety dispatcher — a position Mayor Warren has every intention of cutting — whose quick and decisive actions behind the scenes got them there quick enough save my life.

I think that’s “operationally justified.”

James MacWhinnie