Island County, WA– Yvette Fletcher, Island County Jail Medical Director and Owner of North End Medical Professional Corporation, along with Brett and Terica Ginther, Owners of Deception Pass Tours have teamed up to donate a much-needed 9-1-1 Emergency “RED LINE” phone at the Deception Pass Bridge.
The Deception Pass Bridge, known for its beautiful views, also has a dark past. Several people a year have jumped off the Deception pass bridge, taking their own life. Several members of a local Facebook Group called “Deception Pass Suicide Prevention” wanted to end that yearly trend and spent their free time, painting “rocks of hope” with inspirational messages. They placed the rocks on the bridge, hoping that anyone who was considering to end their life, would read the inspirational messages and change their mind.
Unfortunately, the media attention that accompanied the rocks, also quickly ended their rock prevention mission. Washington State Department of Transportation and Washington State Parks Representatives said that rocks and any other item are not allowed to be placed on the Deception Pass Bridge or any other bridge for safety reasons. As a result, all the painted rocks were removed by the end of the same day that they were placed on the bridge.
In a continued effort to bring awareness to the issue of Suicide Prevention on the Deception Pass Bridge, several members of the Facebook group contacted local government officials and have been trying to come up with another way to help those considering suicide. Placing Nets under the bridge was brought up and have been reportedly discussed in previous years but were denied at that time because they were not “Aesthetically Pleasing” for Tourism and the beauty of Deception Pass Bridge.
In a press memo from the Island County Sheriff’s Office, Officials say the Deception Pass area is known to have little to no cellular telephone reception, which has caused issues in timely reporting of emergencies. This Red Line phone will allow direct communication with the Island County Dispatch Center, also known as ICOM.
The Island County Press memo stated, This red line phone will help bridge the gap in communication and allow decreased delays in the reporting of emergencies at Deception Pass Bridge, allowing Emergency Medical Services and Law Enforcement to respond quicker to emergencies at or near the bridge.
Island County stated in their press memo that they would like to thank Yvette, Brett and Terica for this generous donation and their interest in helping keep our community safe.