Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to April Summers, a graduate of Panama Central School, and three other former area residents, Jeffrey Rasmussen, Amber Rasmussen and Ren Barnes, all of whom helped students escape a school bus that was involved in an accident about 50 miles southeast of Oklahoma City recently. Rasmussen, a registered nurse, helped the girls who escaped the bus while Barnes checked on the occupants of an SUV involved in the accident. There wasn’t much time to act before the bus exploded into flames. “We saw the blood and heard the screams,” Summers said. “It still haunts us. It has to be traumatic for those girls.” A 12-year-old girl was killed in the accident, but the toll likely would have been much higher if not for the foursome of area The foursome’s actions took guts and quick wits and likely helped save several lives.

Thumbs down to an incident that could have been disastrous earlier this week in Cassadaga. A 43-year-old man was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing after allegedly firing several rounds from a long gun with several people in the residence, nearly hitting several people. While we don’t know what precipitated the incident, several people could have been severely injured or killed.

Thumbs up to Westfield Memorial Hospital for its addition of a 64-slice Perspective CT scanner from Siemens Medical Solutions. While the hospital is small, it is a vital piece of the health care system in Chautauqua County, so making new equipment available to the western portion of the county is important for tens of thousands of county residents. The new equipment expands the range of available examinations to patients while reducing radiation dosages by up to 60 percent. Low-dose kidney stone imaging and low-dose lung screenings for smokers are also available on this unit. Thumbs up to all involved in the purchase, including the hospital auxiliary and hospital foundation fundraisers that helped pay for the equipment.