The regular meeting of Blanco Volunteer Ambulance Corps met on Monday July 7. All board members were present except for Doug Becker.
Treasurer Barry Pierce reported a total income of $80,240.10 for June, a larger than average amount. It included $4,100 in donations for the Hill Country Heartbeat Fundraiser, over $4,000 gross profit from the Lavender Festival Hamburger Stand, a $10,000 grant from Texas Rural Communities for the purchase of five Automated External Defibrillators units and CPR classes and $25,000 grant going towards the purchase of the new ambulances.
Director Mike West explained that the $9,954 expense for Medical Equipment Purchases was covered by grants. Most of it was for the AED units, and the rest for a video laryngoscope. Mike West showed the meeting attendees the laryngoscope and reported that it had already been used twice and both patients were out of the hospital and had “good outcomes.”
Barry Pierce concluded the treasurer report stating, “Bottom line is we’re about $92,000 ahead of where we budgeted at the beginning of the year. There are expenses that hit at the end of the year, insurance... but at this point we also haven’t spent [the grant money yet].” Grant money is not budgeted at the beginning of the year. The treasurer’s report was approved.
Mike West reported that the Hill Country Heatbeat Fundraiser had received about $5,000 total cash donations and had commitments from Blanco National Bank and Stone Oak Methodist Hospital for sponsorship. The deposit for the bands has been paid and they have started to receive donated items for raffle prizes. Anyone interested in donating items or money to the fundraiser can visit www.hillcountryheartbeat.org. Plans for purchasing food, banners and having a to-go booth are also underway. “We’re down to sixty days away.” said Mike.
Part of the grant from Texas Rural Communities, an organization that helps community programs in rural areas to advance community development, is going towards five CPR classes of eighteen people.
The CPR classes are Heartsaver courses through the American Heart Association. Two of the classes will be open to the public later this year.
Board President John Watson added that Blanco EMS has “coordinated with the Bulverde Spring Branch Centre for Emergency Health Sciences. They are going to provide three instructors and loan all of the equipment that we need for the certification at no charge. [We will be charged] for the manuals that are required for the course and the cards that the participants will receive.” Mike West went on to say, “We wouldn’t be able to offer five classes if it weren’t for them donating to us.” The cost offset also allowed for Blanco EMS to purchase more AEDS.
With the Emergency Services District’s approval, Mike West plans on putting Unit 213, an out-of-commission ambulance, on a Government bid website as salvage. “Right now it doesn’t even run,” he said. The profit from the sale would go towards offsetting the cost of the new ambulances. Mike said that they were still expecting the new ambulances in September. “We’re waiting on Dodge. They haven’t released the chassis yet. They’re going to be 2014 models.”
Blanco EMS went on 68 calls in June. Of those, 28 were transported to area hospitals. The average of calls is steadily increasing. Mike West had not noticed any “trends” on why this might be. John Watson asked if there was a “way to count who were residents and who were transients? So that we could see how many people we are responding to who are just moving through the county?” Mike West replied, “We do,” and he would add that number to the report for the next meeting. Mike West also reported a slow 4th of July weekend as well as the fact that they had implemented putting another EMT on shift at peak times.
During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, Ann Hall expressed her disappointment with the public’s turnout for the Car Seat and Booster Seat Inspection, stating, “The more you get involved with this group, the more you learn. People don’t know how hard [EMS] works.”
John Watson added, “Just to give you an idea, we just responded to an accident, a mother of three kids, only one of them was in a car seat, and that car seat was not strapped in.”