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ESD No. 2, Eagle Creek VES negotiations fall apart
Wilson County NewsMarch 28, 2012 | 1,227 views | 1 comment
EAGLE CREEK -- It is back to square one yet again for the Wilson County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 2, after failing to reach a deal on fire and ambulance service contracts with the Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services at the ESD’s March 22 board meeting.
Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services includes an ambulance corps, Eagle Creek Emergency Medical Services, and a fire department, the Eagle Creek Volunteer Fire Department, which operate as a single nonprofit entity. ESD board President Keith Wildes said after the meeting that one of the sticking points was the relationship between Eagle Creek Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Poth-based ShurMed -- a private ambulance service owned by Eagle Creek’s EMS Coordinator Shirley Schriber.
Wildes said he and board member Greg Burkett discussed two separate instances where Eagle Creek volunteers were accompanied on emergency calls by ShurMed employees. The Wilson County News has learned of one incident in March 2011 where Eagle Creek EMS responded to a report of a woman with stroke symptoms, but left the scene to respond to an automobile accident. Two of the victim’s family members reported that a ShurMed ambulance then responded to her residence and drove her to a San Antonio hospital.
“Another concern rested on the co-location of ShurMed ambulances with ECVES ambulances at the ECVES station on 775,” Wildes said.
The board president said Schriber indicated that her company has an agreement with the volunteer organization to use the station as a staging point. She had not, however, provided a copy of this agreement to the Wilson County News as of press time March 26.
Since February, a committee of ESD board members has been working to craft recommendations for contracts with potential providers of fire and EMS services to the district’s homes and businesses. This was after an initial set of negotiations with Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services broke down.
Wildes said that during the March 22 discussion, Schriber was asked if the organization would be willing to still provide fire services if the EMS contract were awarded to another provider. He said Schriber indicated that as a provider of both services, the contract would not work otherwise.
“Commissioner Burkett asked, ‘So it’s all or nothing?’ [to which Schriber responded,] ‘Yes, it’s all or nothing,’ Wildes said after the meeting.
Schriber would not confirm or deny her remarks after the meeting. When asked to comment, she responded, “We will continue to work with the Wilson County ESD No. 2 board in an effort to provide services for our community. Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services is dedicated to serving the citizens in our assigned area.”
Eagle Creek’s board president, Dan Pianfetti, was out of the country on business and unable to comment.
The ESD board will again entertain requests for proposals for EMS providers, Wildes said. As for fire protection, he said the board will entertain other options, including the establishment of its own fire department.
“Wilson County ESD No. 2 has until Jan. 1, 2014, to have services in place,” he said. “In the meantime, services should continue as they normally do.”
Also during the meeting, the board voted to appoint Wildes as its ethics officer, which is in line with his duties as president. Treasurer Bill Kinney will serve as the ESD’s investment officer.
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