In February I lost my sweetheart, best friend, and eternal companion. It has been hard for me to come to this realization, but after reading the letters about Del Norte Ambulance (andquot;Ambulance provider's cost burdens underprivileged,andquot; June 26), I had to sit down and write this letter.

My husband had been sick for several years, but it wasn't until January of this year that we had the need to call 911 and have the emergency personnel of this county help us. They were very quick to respond and helped out in several ways. Sometimes they just got my husband to breathe easy, and sometimes they had to transport him to the hospital. Each time they were wonderful and caring. They treated him with dignity and respect.

The crews of Del Norte Ambulance were very professional and respectful of his needs. I never received a bill from them. Why? Because my husband and I had joined the Del Norte Ambulance for $20 a year. They billed our insurance and never asked us for more that the insurance company paid. My bill otherwise would have been enormous, but because they have an option for our community, I was lucky.

After the passing of my husband, at his request, I sent a check to the company to thank them for all that they had done for our family. Instead of accepting the money, they extended my membership for another five years.

These are dedicated, experienced people that have taken their time to learn how to help the people of this community. They are there for you day and night and I can't thank them enough for all of the wonderful work they did in the eight times in a month that they were called to our home.

If you don't want to pay the $175, then think about becoming a member for a mere $20 a year. Thank you to all of you that were there in our time of need, I will never forget it.

Susan Smith

Crescent City