While the final reports are not yet in on the Feb. 24 Metrolink crash in Oxnard, it would appear that, once again, Ventura County’s first responders have turned in a first-rate performance.
Between citizens’ volunteer efforts and those of public safety workers, more than two dozen injured people were pulled from the wrecked cars and treated. Four, including the conductor, remain in critical condition at press time, and we are hopeful for their speedy recovery.
While Ventura County’s spending on critical infrastructure has been woefully lacking in recent years, its spending on emergency services and health care has been up to par. Money spent on upgrades to Ventura County Medical Center’s trauma system as well as those at other hospitals, notably St. John’s Regional Medical Center, have paid off.
County leaders have held to a firm line on pay and pensions, but they have provided the resources necessary to motivate the troops and conduct effective operations.
With nine cities, incredibly diverse geography and a population approaching 900,000, Ventura County throws tremendous challenges at its sheriff’s department and fire fighters. Early in the morning of Feb. 24, they demonstrated once again that they are well up to the task.