I write this as an ESD taxpayer. You asked, “Why does it make sense to create additional financial burdens like a new building and moving costs?” I can answer that question. EMS and fire are currently set up as separate units; one fire, one medical. I will give you an example of why it is in the best interest of the county for fire and EMS to combine.
Scenario: If Blanco EMS is on a call and an individual has a heart attack on the Square, that person would have to wait for mutual aid from Johnson City or Bulverde/Spring Branch. There are paramedics or EMT that work with the BVFD, just one block from the Square. These volunteers would not be dispatched because they’re on duty for fire.
The goal is to combine fire and EMS to better serve the citizens of Blanco County. Fire and EMS personnel would be cross-trained to cover both services. Part of that is housing and training together. By joining forces, the numbers of responders would increase and share education, utilities, internet, etc. To make this happen, a larger space is required.
I’ve been going to EMS and ESD meetings for approximately two years. I’ve also attended several fire meetings. My first year attending meetings was as an EMS advisor. I was voted to the board in Dec. of 2012. I’ve seen things heading in the right direction. Transition and change isn’t always easy. Input was gathered from interested citizens at an advertised meeting at the old Blanco County Courthouse. Taking their input, a 5-year plan has been completed and hard work is taking place to do what citizens have asked. When I am at meetings, it appears that all of the board members are working together to achieve goals for improved emergency services for Blanco County.