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Fire Chief Ed Schriber and EMS Director Shirley Schriber of Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services listen to a discussion about ambulance services within their coverage area during a special May 3 workshop of the Wilson County Commissioners Court.
Wilson County News May 9, 2012 2,848 views 1 comment
Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney is urging cooperation between Eagle Creek Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Wilson County ESD No. 2 in resolving their tenuous relationship. Representatives of the two entities met with the Wilson County Commissioners Court for a special May 3 workshop aimed at tackling ongoing coverage issues for ambulance services in Eagle Creek’s coverage area.
“The citizens of the service area need to come together and work out a plan,” Quinney said.
The discussion during the meeting, which at times became heated, is the latest chapter in the rocky relationship between Eagle Creek EMS and the Wilson County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 2 board. Dan Pianfetti, an Eagle Creek volunteer and vice president of the department’s board, said he thought that when voters approved the ESD’s creation in November 2010, it would create a revenue stream to pay volunteers. These funds, he said, would defray costs for fuel and for missing work to cover EMS shifts.
But negotiations between the ESD and the Eagle Creek Volunteer Emergency Services -- which includes the EMS and a volunteer fire department -- broke down in March after what the ESD’s board president, Keith Wildes, alleges was a series of missed deadlines and poor communication from the organization.
“It’s a bad commentary for both of you that you can’t come up to an agreement,” Quinney said.
Wildes said Eagle Creek has withheld certain requested information the ESD board needed to make informed decisions during the previous negotiations. Pianfetti countered that information related to call volume and revenue are “intellectual capital” of the company, which can be gathered through other means. He also said these items could be used against them.
Wildes said Eagle Creek EMS also suffers with ongoing personnel issues and the organization only has one ambulance that they trust to carry patients.
“How can you put all of your money in stipends, if you don’t have an ambulance to get you where you need to go?” Wildes asked.
Mary Hernandez, EMS director for Floresville-based Wilson County EMS, has expressed concerns over Wilson County EMS and La Vernia EMS having to continually fill in for Eagle Creek when they are unable to cover their calls. She said this occurred at least eight days in April. Hernandez said she does not want the additional duties to lead to volunteer fatigue and financial strain for Wilson County EMS.
“The concern is what’s going to happen when Eagle Creek cannot respond and Floresville takes 15-20 minutes to respond,” said Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. “If something happens, what am I going to say to them? Are you going to be able to handle the coverage area or not?”
Eagle Creek EMS Director Shirley Schriber assured Gamez that Eagle Creek would answer its EMS calls, unless occasional scheduling conflicts prevent volunteers from covering shifts.
ESD No. 2, Eagle Creek EMS and Commissioners
May 3 workshop
In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney, commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, and Ricky Morales, County Attorney Russell Wilson, County Auditor Ray Wolff, County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., County Clerk Eva Martinez, Coordinator Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, Coordinator LeAnn Hosek of the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Richard “Dickie” Jackson, and board President Keith Wildes of the Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 2.
•See PDF link below for "Wilson County Emergency Services District #2 District Business Plan"