A POLICE OFFICER'S PLEA FOR HELP
I'm turning this blog over to Police Corporal Scott Barthelmass.
For years, St. Louis reporters and photographers for all news sources ... have worked with Scott. He represents the highest standards for a Public Information Officer ... beginning with integrity. Over the years, he has always proven helpful ... providing what information he could ... in a timely manner.
He just sent me a message which I want to share with you. You will find it is a heart felt plea ... and you will quickly see why I wanted to give this space to his email:
For over 14 years I have served as a police officer, firefighter and paramedic.
I currently serve full-time as a police corporal with the Overland Police Department, part-time as a firefighter/paramedic with the Eureka Fire Protection District, and part-time as a flight paramedic with with the St. Louis Children's Hospital Neonatal/Pediatric Transport Team.
I also have the opportunity to work with numerous agencies and organizations throughout the region, and across the country - all of whom work diligently for the betterment, protection or safety of mankind.
I am grateful to have the life that I have. I awake each day with the opportunity to touch people's lives, to make a difference, and to make our world safer.
Often though, as my day comes to a close - sometimes into the wee hours of the next morning - I lay down my head after seeing tragedies of young lives cut short, men and women severely injured, seen families destroyed, and lost close friends.
This devastation is caused, to many times, by individuals who have consumed too much alcohol or drugs and then chose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
My former roommate - when I lived in Jefferson City - Trooper Kelly Poynter was killed while investigating a crash in southern Missouri. He was killed by a drunk driver.
Scott- a Bridgeton police officer and close family friend was struck by a wrong way driver. The drunk driver who killed Scott should have known better.
In the fall of 2006, while working on Eureka Ambulance 2417, I was dispatched to a vehicle crash in northern Jefferson County. Despite the efforts of EMS personnel, including police, fire and paramedics, we could not save the young lady trapped in the burning car. The car she was riding in had been struck by a drunk driver.
My stories of loss of human lives to drunk and drugged driving are in the hundreds. Sadly I can no longer recall all of tragedies I have responded to where impaired drivers changed the course of human lives forever.
The work that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) does, changes lives as well.
We all know that MADD's grass root efforts have led to tougher DWI laws and better programs to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving.
People across the country have really become more aware. These efforts have led to a reduction in the number of DWI incidents. There goal is to someday eliminate drunk drivers on our roadways.
What people often do not know is that MADD provides victim's services to those effected by DWI tragedies.
The organization helps family and friends of persons killed or injured by drunk drivers.
Over the years, the Gateway Chapter of MADD has been an innovator in programs to support efforts in preventing drunk driving incidents, but also in servicing the emotional needs of victims and their families.
The men and women behind the Gateway Chapter of MADD are passionate and driven. Their sole purpose is to make sure that no one ever suffers a loss in the manner they have. They want to guarantee that others are not killed or injured by drunk drivers.
The programs are not funded by large subsidies or huge grants, but by the fundraising efforts of the group's many volunteers.
The MADD Gateway Affiliate is proud to announce that it will be hosting its first ever MADD Rock 'N' Bowl on Saturday, August 16, 2008 at Tropicana Lanes in St.
Louis. Registration begins at 11:30am with bowling beginning at 12 noon. Prizes will be awarded following the bowling tournament. This fun-filled alcohol free event will raise awareness about drunk driving while raising money to benefit MADD Gateway. The event will include a bowling tournament, music, classic cars, prizes, and plenty of fun and games for the entire family.
Bowling teams will consist of four people and there is a team entry fee of $100.00. The team entry fee includes a T-Shirt for each member and a chance to win
prizes for getting First, Second, and Third place in the bowling tournament.
Each team will not only compete for the title of Bowling Tournament Champion at the event, but they will also compete for the title of Fundraising Tournament Champion. While $100 is the team entry fee, it is only a minimum. The bowling team that raises the most money to benefit MADD will win a fantastic prize. Not only is it a great opportunity to show support for MADD, but it's also a wonderful tribute to honor those who have tragically been lost to drunk driving.
More information can be obtained at
http://maddrocknbowl.org or by contacting the Gateway Chapter of MADD at 314-426-1595.
I have witnessed the hundreds of hours that have been devoted by local MADD members thus far in preparation of this event and I can assure you that fun will be had.
I have put forth a considerable amount of time and energy each day to work with you in the media to provide timely and accurate information on topics that effect the well-being of the public. It is a passion of mine and I hope that you appreciate my efforts and professionalism. Many of the time that I give freely and without compensation.
I ask for very little in return. Today, I am asking you for something in return. Please help me in supporting this event. They could use additional bowling teams, publicity and coverage.
If this event helps to raise funds that support a program, a brochure, or a multi-media presentation that convinces one person not to drink and drive, isn't it all worth it? Haven't we really worked together to achieve a noble cause? Haven't we made people safer? Haven't we changed a live? Wouldn't we like to make a difference?
Public Information Officer, Public Safety Officer and PROUD MADD VOLUNTEER