Where I left my story last week on the development of the County wide EMS was that the new infant system was struggling. Remember each unit (one in Lytle, Poteet and Pleasanton) was an independent 501C3 organization with an ambulance provided by the county and the housing provided by the city.
Because of the struggles I mentioned last week (for each location to do their own thing) the county hired a full – time EMS Director to coordinate with each unit. The idea was to assist them in their operations. This person was Jimmy Day who just retired from the county after over 20 years of service. I met with him to make sure my facts were in accordance with his recollections. They were but he helped fill in a lot of gaps for me. After coming on board he soon learned that major changes were needed.
Jimmy worked from this point to building a full time, paid Emergency Medical System that it is today. He started by working with each organization to transition to full operation by the county. This is not simple. Since the county is running it there have been ever increasing state rules and medical protocols required. Life saving is neither easy nor simple. In the first case, the transition was costing a lot of money. Over the years the county has steadily increased the pay to attract full time quality EMTs and paramedics. This means a lot of money in payroll. It was a matter of building the personnel base and the county gradually spending more and more each year to get the personnel needed. It took time and years to get there. So, little by little the county took over the personnel and operations for Lytle, Poteet and Pleasanton.
So, I leave you in our story this week with the EMS system growing and making strides to provide daily life saving service to the citizens of Atascosa County.
Thanks for listening.
We want you to be proud of your County Government.
BOB HURLEY is the Atascosa County Judge. You may E-mail him at email@example.com