Opinion: Cutting Code Blue hurts small town Alaska

I am saddened for the Alaskans I serve.

On Thursday, Gov. Dunleavy used the following phrase “budget changes are not meant to harm Alaska or Alaskans.”

Perhaps he and his staff have not heard of or do not understand Code Blue. The governor vetoed it. Code Blue provides $500,000 seed money annually to pay for supplies and equipment for volunteer EMTs in small Alaska communities. This money is leveraged with federal Department of Agriculture funds and a Rasmussen Foundation grant, quadrupling its impact.

This money is now gone. This will indeed hurt small Alaska communities without a stable tax base.

Code Blue money this past year helped replace a 28-year-old ambulance in a small Southeast community. There is huge bipartisan support! We are foolishly disadvantaging our own. This is not an entitlement.

I am saddened for the Alaskans I serve.

Tim Quigley Peterson, MD,

Medical Director of Southeast Region EMS Council in Sitka

• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.

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