Feb. 15 was the seventh anniversary of my husband's death, a tragedy made worse by the inadequacies of Kern County's emergency medical bureaucracy.

As I write this, I wonder how many deaths, like those of my husband and logger Bill Bennett, have happened over these past seven years and have not made the news. One thing is certain: Nothing has changed in Kern County's emergency medical system, except in Pine Mountain.

As I read the newspaper articles, all the old names and issues from Pine Mountain's five-year battle for an advanced life support paramedic emerge. We started out to make Kern County Fire Department paramedics a countywide issue -- which is what it needed to be -- but soon realized that the politics were much more than we could handle. I'm very thankful we succeeded at our very small local level.

Bennett's death has generated a lot of press, and perhaps his death, with the help of writers like Lois Henry, will not be in vain and will initiate a countywide push for a Kern County fire paramedic program.

Pine Mountain Club