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Lincoln Daily News
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Lincoln, IL  62656

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Paramedic Association CEO recognizes Dr. Blaum's contributions

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To the editor:

I feel compelled to say a few things I would like the public to contemplate about Dr. Gene Blaum.

I have known Dr. Blaum both as a patient of his for many years, as well as from a professional basis for over 37 years. I am one of the original paramedics that worked for ALMH from 1974 through 1999. Since the Logan County Paramedic Association began serving the county on Dec. 1, 1999, I continue to serve as the chief officer to date.

Dr. Blaum has been the president of the board of directors of the Logan County Paramedic Association since the inception of this organization. So, I have worked closely with him for a very long time.

Dr. Blaum is a man who has asked for little, but given much over his career.

The Paramedic Association would not exist, if it were not for his efforts. He spearheaded getting the Logan County Board and the public to understand that a not-for-profit ambulance service, operated by the very medics who had been providing treatment and transport of the sick and injured within the county for many years, was the best long-term fit for this community. He, along with three other prominent individuals on the LCPA board, signed for a startup loan through the State Bank of Lincoln for $200,000. Had LCPA defaulted on that loan, they would have been liable to repay it.

He alone got an additional $30,000 personal loan on our behalf after the original loan funds ran dry, before the organization began to get on its feet.

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Of course, LCPA was eventually able to repay those loans, and has since become financially stable. But, we will never forget, and will always be grateful for his faith in us.

That accounting is but one of many acts that Dr. Blaum has done for the community. When he stepped down from his practice here in Lincoln, he had over 5,000 patients in his practice.

Prior to setting up a practice in Logan County, he had been a flight surgeon in the Vietnam War. He survived two battlefield helicopter crashes and sustained injuries from them. In working closely with wartime field medics, he gained a clear understanding of the importance in early treatment and proper packaging of injured and wounded soldiers in the field.

I could go on and on, but in summary, the public should know at least some of what is on my heart. His legacy should not be tainted with a negative tone. The people of this community should think on these things and know that no person who lives long enough can escape trouble of one sort or another. I choose to think of Dr. Blaum as a great asset to our community and one who should be thought of as a good man, who sacrificed a great deal of his life to serve the public.

Steve Siltman, CEO
Logan County Paramedic Association Inc.

[Posted December 30, 2011]

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