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Out and About – Week of July 21st

I thought that I was about as good as one can be when it comes to staying current on what’s happening around Three Rivers. I discovered on Friday, July 11, that this was Dan Tomlinson’s final day as Fire Chief. I had a tribute to him ready for this column to be published on Tuesday, July 29. I was under the assumption that Chief Dan would be leaving the fire department around the first of August. Luckily, I was able to stop by his office on July 11, offer a final salute, and wish him well in his new endeavors. Unfortunately, my column for July 15 was already in this paper’s managing editor’s inbox, so this is the first time I can state my departure feelings for a person I admire and respect.

I mentioned to Dan that I felt sad about his leaving the fire department, but I was happy to know that he was happy with his decision to move on. He agreed that the stress that goes with being Fire Chief will be left behind and that it will be nice knowing that he will no longer be getting phone calls at 2:30 AM, saying that he is needed at Station 2. He will no longer be obligated to stop and assist at an accident scene, but I have a feeling that he still might step in to see if he is needed. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

Until a new fire chief is named, Captain Jeff Bloomfield will serve as the Interim Fire Chief. I have all the confidence in the world that Captain Bloomfield will do a great job. He is a great firefighter and a leader who has the respect of everyone in the department. If you were to ask Jeff if he is capable of serving in this position, he would probably say that he can do it, because he has a great team to work with and there isn’t a single firefighter who works alone. There are two other candidates being considered for the fire chief position. I am unaware of their names, but as far as I’m concerned, Captain Bloomfield is the best person to fill some very big shoes.

Here’s a brief word to bicyclists. As you’re Out and About riding your bike, you are responsible for observing and adhering to all traffic signs or lights in the same manner as a driver of a motor vehicle. I’ve observed many bicyclists ignoring traffic signals, especially stop signs. You are subject to being ticketed for failure to observe a stop sign. Unfortunately, our law enforcement people are too busy to enforce these laws, so you get off easy. Think about this the next time you are almost struck by a motor vehicle, because you failed to yield the right of way. Also, there is no law stating that a safety helmet must be worn by all bicyclists. The same goes for people riding mopeds and motorcycles. My head is larger than most and is extremely fragile. The last thing I want is to end up in a wheelchair and wearing a diaper because I fell off my scooter and smashed my head on the pavement. I’m an organ donor, but I would prefer to die a natural death, rather than be careless and bleed out from my ears.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing what I’ve had to do in preparation for surgery, which would relieve pressure on the nerves in my back and left knee. I experienced an EMG, five MRIs, several x-rays, and my share of blood draws. Last Tuesday, July 15, my wife and I arrived at Borgess Hospital at 6 AM. My surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM. At 6:45 AM, I was on a gurney with an IV in my arm and ready to go to the operating room. Then, after talking with a couple of doctors, including my surgeon, it was decided to cancel the surgery. My pain level was zero, I hadn’t fallen in two months, and the strength in my leg was improving on its own. My surgeon recommended and gave me a prescription for Water Therapy. I am scheduled to meet with her next month to see if the therapy has worked for me. I want to thank the staff at Borgess Hospital for their excellent care. The hospital and staff could have gained monetarily, but my well-being and health were more important.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman