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Section A: General News


Commissioners to tackle EMS coverage issues


Commissioners to tackle  EMS coverage issues
Mary Hernandez


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Wilson County News
April 25, 2012
3,924 views
17 comments

The continued need for emergency medical services (EMS) squads from Floresville and La Vernia to answer calls in the Eagle Creek area has EMS directors from those two squads seeking the county’s help. Mary Hernandez of Floresville-based Wilson County EMS addressed the Wilson County Commissioners Court about the issue at its April 23 meeting.

The two squads frequently have to fill in for Eagle Creek EMS, which often has to forgo coverage due to a lack of available manpower, Hernandez said. This leads to problems, such as increased response times.

Hernandez asked the commissioners to consider compensating Wilson County EMS and La Vernia EMS for days when they have to cover Eagle Creek’s calls. According to Edwin Baker, coordinator of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, the commissioners currently allocate the equivalent of $68.50 per day to defray Eagle Creek EMS’ costs of providing ambulance services to its coverage area.

Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney suggested that Hernandez and Ronnie Rye of La Vernia EMS should address their concerns with Wilson County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 2, which includes much of Eagle Creek’s coverage area. Sarah Gella, the ESD board’s secretary, reminded the commissioners that it will be Oct. 1 before the ESD has an ambulance service provider in place.

Also related to EMS services, the commissioners discussed a proposal to establish a third ESD, which would provide countywide ambulance coverage. Commissioner Larry Wiley said the goal is to place the item on the ballot for the November election.

Quinney said increasing issues with funding and a lack of volunteers, coupled with decreasing reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, will continue to pose a threat to the county’s four EMS providers unless a countywide ESD is established. If approved, property owners living within the district would be assessed an ad valorem tax of up to 10 cents per $100 of property value, which would be used exclusively to fund ambulance services.

In other action, the commissioners:

•Voted to submit grant applications for funds to be used toward a household hazardous-waste collection event and a recycling trailer.

•Voted on the preliminary approval of regulations for recreational-vehicle parks, for which a public hearing on takings impact assessment will be held May 29.

•Voted to adopt the administrative portion of regulations related to sexually oriented businesses, for which a public hearing on takings impact assessment will be held May 29.

•Voted to solicit bids for a company to provide nonconsent tows as initiated by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office dispatch, which will be opened May 29. The current contract with Rick’s Towing expires May 1.

In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney, commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, and Larry Wiley, County Auditor Ray Wolff, County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., County Clerk Eva Martinez, County Treasurer Jan Hartl, Assistant County Auditor Kristin Labus, Coordinator Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, Coordinator LeAnn Hosek of the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, and Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 Sara Canady.

 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Concerned Citizen  
Youtown, TX  
May 7, 2012 1:10am
 
While it is great to see the county officials finally take EMS coverage seriously, I believe there could be a much simpler solution to solving the shortcomings of ALL of the current EMS providers in the county. The most viable ... More ›

 
William J. Gibbs Jr.  
WCN  
May 2, 2012 10:36am
 
The commissioners court is having a special meeting Thursday, May 3 (tomorrow), to discuss this issue. Any of you wishing to find out more might want to attend. Here's a link to the agenda: http://www.wilsoncountynews.com/article.php?i ... More ›

 
what tha  
floresville  
May 1, 2012 11:24pm
 
seems like maybe eagle creek is trying to give ems business to sur med ambulance I hear that they want to run the whole county and get rid of the volunteers and I would bet the county comissioners will help them to do so just ... More ›

 
thankful to be here  
floresville  
May 1, 2012 11:13pm
 
"its me" if you know something write it down and send it to wcn bet they will investagate.ha ha ha ha

 
Its Me  
Over Here  
May 1, 2012 9:41pm
 
Bet ya that if it was ever investigated one would find county ems supplies and fuel from eagle creek ems in sure med ambulances.

 
Glenn Quagmire  
Quahog, Rhode Island  
April 27, 2012 2:41pm
 

 
humby  
stockdale  
April 27, 2012 12:24pm
 
seems eagle creek needs to step up to the plate, if they can't handle the calls, shut it down and reroute all funds to the district that can. why should everyone in wilson county pay another 150 in taxes a year because of one ... More ›

 
Be Careful  
Floresville, TX  
April 26, 2012 2:34pm
 
Do like some communities - opt in and pay or opt out and watch it burn. Again, EMS (Ambulance) is an insurance Reimbursable expense. What is the real cost? Russell I was serious so I don't need to shut up. Centralized Government ... More ›

 
Russell Dickerson  
Floresville, TX  
April 26, 2012 11:19am
 
They need to revise their proposal then. At the rate they want, its a bit excessive with out some explanation of where all that money will go. In CyFair we were able to accomplish both with the same funds.. but then the VFD ... More ›

 
William J. Gibbs Jr.  
WCN  
April 26, 2012 9:53am
 
The proposed countywide ESD is for EMS (ambulance) coverage only. Fire departments are not included in this proposal. As for the current ESDs: •ESD No. 1 (La Vernia area): established to provide firefighting services. •ESD ... More ›

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