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Eagle Ford: Ambulance repairs test ESD budget
STOCKDALE -- The Wilson County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 3 continues to be plagued with unexpected expenses as it struggles to become established.
As reported in September, the engine of the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services’ (EMS) modular ambulance -- purchased in 2008 -- had encountered engine problems. Repairs cost approximately $9,500. The ESD directors were told during their Dec. 6 meeting that additional problems have arisen and the ambulance is back in the shop. While the backup vehicle is being used, it also needs repairs.
ESD President Lynn Ray West spoke after the meeting about the number of calls the Stockdale EMS is responding to -- sometimes two to three daily -- due to wrecks. This is due, in part, to the increased traffic caused by the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration in the area. Maintenance for the vehicles was budgeted, but the continuing problems are wreaking havoc on the budget. This was just one of three items putting stress on the already-tight budget the directors approved in September.
Another expense addressed was the ESD’s share of the operational costs of the Wilson County Appraisal District for 2014, anticipated to be more than $1,600 per quarter. West said that he anticipated a fee, but was surprised at the amount quoted.
Another expense, the required continuing education for the board of directors, also was discussed. Currently, director Teri Wolff is investigating if the directors can acquire the needed education units via the Internet, instead of attending a three-day event next month in Galveston.
According to the Health and Safety Code Chapter 775 for Emergency Services Districts, “An emergency services commissioner shall complete at least six hours of continuing education relating to the performance of the duties of an emergency services commissioner at least once in a two-year period.”
This expense, according to West, was not included in the ESD budget.
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